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Australia names Hewitt and Dellacqua to Olympic team
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A nagging hip injury has not prevented Lleyton Hewitt from being named to the Australian Olympic team for Beijing, along with rising women's star Casey Dellacqua, officials said on Tuesday.

Hewitt, who was bundled out of Wimbledon in a fourth-round showdown with Roger Federer, is the only Australian to automatically qualify for the men's singles.

He will partner Chris Guccione in the doubles while doubles specialists Paul Hanley and Jordan Kerr will also represent Australia in the doubles.

Australia has won six medals in tennis in past Olympics - one gold, one silver and four bronze - and the team coaches are confident of improving on the haul when the Games begin in China next month.

"I am very happy with the team we've got," said Australia's men's coach John Fitzgerald.

"I am still very hopeful Chris will get a singles berth as he has shown he often performs at his best when representing his country. We all know Lleyton's record playing for Australia so he is a real medal chance."

Three women will compete in the singles after Alicia Molik scored a wild-card entry.

Australia's top female player world No 42 Casey Dellacqua and Samantha Stosur, fresh from winning this year's Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Bob Bryan of the US, will play in singles and doubles while Rennae Stubbs will compete in the doubles.

"We have quite a strong team when you consider Casey's form this year and Sam's impressive return from her illness," women's coach David Taylor said.

"Our doubles combinations will be strong medal contenders. I am confident we will come home with something."

Taylor said Molik, who won a bronze medal in the singles in Athens in 2004, would also be "gunning for a medal".

"This is probably the best news I've had since 2004," Molik said. "I have played in two Olympics (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004) and I have to say they're the absolute highlight of my career."

Australia: Men - Chris Guccione (doubles), Paul Hanley (doubles), Lleyton Hewitt (singles and doubles), Jordan Kerr (doubles). Women - Casey Dellacqua (singles and doubles), Alicia Molik (singles and doubles), Samantha Stosur (singles and doubles), Rennae Stubbs (doubles)

(Agencies via China Daily July 10, 2008)


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