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Four Brits given Olympic wildcards

ESPN staff
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Heather Watson and Laura Robson will play together at London 2012 © PA Photos
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Four British women have been handed wildcards to compete at London 2012. Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong will compete in the singles competition, while Heather Watson and Laura Robson will compete together in the doubles tournament.

Of the men, Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins were also confirmed as direct entries in the men's doubles, joining Andy Murray and Jamie Murray. The former Murray will also compete in the singles, as one of Team GB's brightest hopes for a medal.

The news will be a welcome boost for Robson, who was disconsolate as she crashed out of Wimbledon just hours before she received the news. Her impending partner Watson remains in the grand slam tournament, however, having beaten Iveta Benesova on Monday evening.

Sixty-four players will be involved in the two singles tournaments, with 19 of the world's top 20 included in both. Mardy Fish and Marion Bartoli are the only two major absences.

Forty-five different countries will be represented across the various singles and doubles tournaments.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "We are delighted to see the strongest ever field in the history of the Olympic Tennis Event. Since tennis's return to the Olympics in 1988, the event has continued to grow at each Games, with the current generation of players all embracing this unique opportunity to represent their country in individual competition.

"The All England Club will provide an iconic backdrop for the event and we expect that the competition in each discipline will be fierce."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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