Rising Swedish star set to play in Sydney Olympics

Rising Swedish star Andreas Vinciguerra has been granted a spot in the Olympic tennis tournament later this month thanks to a special invitation from the International Olympic Committee, it was reported today.

Rising Swedish star Andreas Vinciguerra has been granted a spot in the Olympic tennis tournament later this month thanks to a special invitation from the International Olympic Committee, it was reported today.

Vinciguerra, 19, member of Sweden's Davis Cup team, was turned down by the Swedish Olympic Committee despite being ranked inside the top 48 on the ATP Tour Champions Race when the decision was made in July. The ATP and the IOC agreed earlier that the top 48 players would qualify for the Sydney Games.

Vinciguerra may have problems withdrawing from an ATP tournament at Tashkent, Uzbekistan, scheduled Sept. 11-17.

"If he advances to the last rounds in that tournament he will not get to Sydney in time," Vinciguerra's coach Anders Henricsson said. "If he doesn't play Tashkent, he'll get fined."

Vinciguerra will play a minor tournament at Graz, Austria, starting on Monday.

"He needs match practice," Henricsson said. "He had bad luck with the draw in a few tournaments recently and lost early."

Vinciguerra won his first ATP title in March indoors in the Copenhagen Open and reached the Swedish Open final on clay in July, losing to compatriot Magnus Norman. A week later Vinciguerra made his Davis Cup debut, leading Sweden to a 5-0 rout of India and a World Group spot next year.

Norman, Thomas Johansson and doubles players Nicklas Kulti and Mikael Tillstrom are also on Sweden's Olympic tennis team.

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