July 26 - Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer says he hopes Stanislas Wawrinka, with whom he won the Olympic doubles gold four years' ago, beats British number one Andy Murray in their first round London 2012 clash at Wimbledon.
Federer (pictured above) defeated Murray in the final of the grand slam event at Wimbledon earlier this month, depriving the 25-year-old of making history as the first Briton to have won there since 1936.
Instead the 30-year-old Swiss won his first grand slam in over two years, and in doing so climbed back to the top of the ATP rankings.
However, he says Murray will be one of the favourites to win Olympic gold this summer, and does not expect the world number four to trip up against Wawrinka.
"I hope Stan can win, he is a good friend, but then again I think Murray is the favourite and goes into the tournament as one of the favourites," Federer said here today.
"If he comes through that round he will be tougher to beat but the first one is a very tricky one.
"Obviously it is a tough draw for both guys, they have played each other before and are good friends."
Federer has been given a relatively favourable draw for London 2012, and will face Alejandro Falla of Colombia in the first round.
The absence of Spaniard Rafa Nadal, the reigning singles champion, means Federer's path to the final has opened up slightly, with Argentina's Juan Martín del Potro and the ever dangerous David Ferrer of Spain the toughest challenges on paper he will face en route to the last four, should he get that far.
"It was a big surprise to see Rafa pull out of the Olympic Games, being the defending champion," Federer explained.
"It was a big blow for the Games but he must have his reasons.
"I do not know if it was his knee or his preparation.
"Obviously it is exciting for the rest of the field."
Federer, along with Murray and Serbia's Novak Djokovic, whom he deposed as world number one, will be the favourites for gold.
But unlike in the four grand slams, the Olympic tennis is a three set affair rather than five – except for the final.
That means the potential for upsets is greater, and Federer said he was wary of that pitfall.
"It just goes to show a bad five minutes or couple of points can cost you the tournament," he said, pointing out that at Wimbledon he would have exited at the second round if it was played to the best of three sets.
And although singles gold would mean Federer has won all there is to win, he is not preoccupied with thoughts of victory.
"I already have an Olympic gold, I know it is the doubles not the singles, but no one can take that away from me," he said.
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