The Worlds Favourite Playground

Tuesday, Oct 26th

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Defending champion Andy Murray of Britain struggled for a long stretch, but found his game midway through the third set to beat his Italian opponent Fabio Fognini 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 to advance men's singles quarter-finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Murray won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, defeating Novak Djokovic and Swiss great Roger Federer in the semifinals and final, respectively, to claim what was then the biggest title of his career.

The second-seeded Scotsman, the gold medal favourite after Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic's stunning first-round defeat at the hands of Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, lost nine of 11 games to drop the second set and go down 3-0 in the decider at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Thursday.

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The Indian mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will start their campaign at the ongoing Rio Olympics on Thursday after most of the tennis matches had to be postponed due to rain.

Sania and Rohan were scheduled to face off against Sam Stosur and Jonathan Peers of Australia in their opening clash at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Wednesday. 

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Defending Olympic champion Andy Murray of Britain and 2008 Beijing champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the last 16 of the men's tennis event at the 2016 Rio Olympics with easy wins in their respective second round matches on Tuesday. Not quite as fortunate though was Nadal's compatriot, 7th seed David Ferrer, who crashed out at the hands of Russia's Evgeny Donskoy.

Reigning Wimbledon Champion, Murray, was in sublime form as he rolled over Argentina's Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the round of 16. The No. 2 seed dominated the world No. 107 and stayed on track as the favourite to win the gold following Serbian top seed Novak Djokovic's elimination over the weekend.

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Spanish ace Rafael Nadal is a fan favourite wherever he goes on the world tennis circuit. And it seems he is just as highly admired by his Olympic peers. Golfer Martin Kaymer, a two-time major tournament winner, revealed that Nadal has been a magnet for other athletes at the Olympic Village in Rio.

"I saw him yesterday but he could barely eat, there were so many people wanting to talk to him and take pictures," Kaymer was quoted as saying by the Olympic News Service on Saturday. "He is very inspiring, the way he is as a person. He is very dedicated. I would love to see him for a few minutes and talk sports," the German added.

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Former tennis world number one Rafael Nadal could not hide his delight after holding Spain's flag at the 2016 Olympics opening ceremony. The 14-time Grand Slam winner was chosen for the honor at the London 2012 Games but missed out because of injury.

Moments before he entered Rio's Maracana stadium, the 30-year-old posted a photo of himself on Instagram with a beaming smile.

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World no.1 Novak Djokovic, chasing the only missing piece from his trophy cabinet, an Olympic medal, has got a nightmare draw at the 2016 Rio Olympics, wherein he faces the man who beat him in the London Olympics Bronze medal match - Juan Martin del Potro in the first round.

The only plus side for Djokovic is that both he and Del Potro are at considerably different stages of their careers at present. Djokovic is now the undisputed no.1 in men's tennis - the best player in the world at present, and quite possibly on course to becoming one of the greatest of all time. Del Potro on the other hand is still in the process of resurrecting his career, and though on his day is capable of mixing it with the best in the world, he really shouldn't pose a threat to an in-form Djokovic fresh off his win in Canada.

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The ITF has announced the seeds for the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event being held at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park on 6-14 August.

The draw for the event will take place at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Thursday 4 August at 11:00 local time (14:00 GMT). Sixty-four players are contesting the men’s and women’s singles, and 32 teams are contesting the men’s and women’s doubles.

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