Published Wednesday 20 June 2012

Marina Erakovic will become the first New Zealander to represent tennis at two Olympic Games after an exhaustive process by Olympic selectors confirmed her to the London Olympic Team.

New Zealand Olympic selection criteria are tough and demand athletes demonstrate an ability to finish within the top 16 in competition.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general Kereyn Smith said with information supplied late last week by Tennis New Zealand the selectors were able to confirm her spot.

“Marina very clearly favours a grass surface where she’s secured a competitive win/loss record. Wimbledon gives her just that advantage,” said Smith. “

'She has also beaten players in the top 16 in the world including current world number two Victoria Azarenka. Marina has reached the quarter finals in four tournaments throughout 2012 and her world rankings have steadily increased during this year.

“We’re delighted to have been able to select her to the team and are looking forward to her making us proud at London 2012.”

Erakovic was delighted with the news.

"I am thrilled to be selected. Representing New Zealand on the grass courts of Wimbledon at the Olympic Games is a huge honour and I am very excited,” she said.

“The grass time I get in now before and during Wimbledon will benefit me greatly for the Olympic Games and I am looking forward to joining our team in as little as over a month now."

The Olympic tennis competition begins on the first day of the Olympic Games, the 28th of July.

Marina’s road to the games had been complicated by the player’s decision to not compete in the ITF Federation Cup. While Erakovic has been invited by name to compete at the Olympic Games by the ITF, her selection is still pending final confirmation of her acceptance into the competition by the ITF. This formality is now being undertaken by the ITF.

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