Baltacha won't dwell on opening ceremony ban
Date published :
27 Jul 2012 - 18:46:46
Britain's Elena Baltacha insists she doesn't have a problem with the decision to ban all of her country's tennis stars from attending the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday.
The London Games officially were due to get under way with a much anticipated display at the Olympic Park in east London on Friday, but none of the home nation's tennis players, including Wimbledon finalist Andy Murray, were allowed to go as just 24 hours later they are in action in the Olympic tennis event, which starts at the All England Club on Saturday.
Team GB's tennis leader Paul Hutchins had requested late starts for all eight British players to give them the chance to attend the ceremony but it was decided a trip to Stratford would be detrimental to their chances.
"We're not going to go because all of us are scheduled to play tomorrow (Saturday) in the singles or in the doubles," former British number one Baltacha said on Friday.
"But to be honest even if we went we probably wouldn't have seen it anyway because we would have been stuck behind the scenes."
"It was a team decision and I think it's the right decision, we're here to do a job and I think that if we were to go we wouldn't have had enough sleep and it would have reflected on us for tomorrow."
Baltacha planned to watch the ceremony on television instead and the 28-year-old added: "It's going to be amazing. I'm going to be watching it on the TV.
"Someone said that they went to the rehearsals yesterday and it was just so amazing, I'm really looking forward to seeing it.
"We're all staying in different places so I'll be watching it with my mum and my coach Nino Severino."
Baltacha, ranked 102 in the world, is likely to be the first British player in action when she meets Hungary's Agnes Szavay in the first round of the women's singles in the third match on Court 18.
After losing in the Wimbledon second round last month, Baltacha is hoping for a longer run at the famous old venue this time and she believes a winnable tie against Szavay could be the perfect springboard.
"I can't believe how quickly the time's passed and it's all kicking off. It's an amazing feeling to be part of it and I can't wait to start my match," she said.
"It's a good draw for the first round. You can't take anyone lightly but hopefully I can go out and do my thing and get into the second round. I'm feeling good and I'm feeling ready."