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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams OlympicsSeveral of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's biggest stars are showcased in a fantastic new photographic book published by the International Tennis Federation to celebrate the upcoming Olympic Tennis Event in Beijing.

Entitled "Journey To Beijing – Tennis Celebrates The Olympics", the book features more than 40 of the world's leading tennis players who took part in the ITF project to help promote the prestigious event, which features its strongest fields since tennis returned as an Olympic sport in 1988.

The 140-page publication features a series of specially commissioned photographs of the game's top names dressed as athletes from other summer or winter Olympic sports. These are accompanied by interviews with the players talking about their Olympic memories and hopes for Beijing.

The photographs were taken over a six-month period by some of the world's leading tennis photographers, with photo shoots held in venues as varied as Barcelona, Beijing, Dubai, Indian Wells, Los Angeles, Miami, Melbourne, Moscow, Netherlands, Palm Beach, Santiago, Shanghai and Tel Aviv.

Among the 44 players represented in the book are the two current world No.1s, Ana Ivanovic, who is shown playing beach volleyball, and Roger Federer, who poses as a fencer, both of whom were photographed in Miami. Rafael Nadal appears as a footballer on location in Shanghai, while Novak Djokovic takes advantage of Dubai's indoor ski slope.

Maria Sharapova takes time out from a photo shoot to try rhythmic gymnastics in Los Angeles, while Serena Williams demonstrates her ice skating abilities at home in Palm Beach. Olympic champions Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez become marathon runners on the streets of Santiago, while wheelchair world No.1 Esther Vergeer shows her versatility as a basketball player in the Netherlands.

The players also give an insight into the part the Olympics has played in their lives, with a series of exclusive interviews looking at their childhood memories, previous Olympic appearances and ambitions for this summer's Games.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "I believe the book shows how proud current tennis players are to represent their countries in the Olympic Games as well as the importance the Olympics has played in their lives. In turn, we have witnessed the continued growth, not only of the Olympic Tennis Event, but also of the international reach of our sport since tennis returned to the Olympic Games in 1988."

Click here for more information on the Olympic Tennis Event and for a chance to win a copy of "Journey To Beijing."

Posted by Shelia

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