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Gilbert: Roddick to Play in Athens Games

December 19, 2003

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Andy Roddick will play in the Olympic tennis tournament this summer. ``Athens 2004 _ we’re definitely going,″ Roddick’s coach, Brad Gilbert, said Thursday.

The top-ranked Roddick is eligible for the Summer Games because he plays in Davis Cup competition. The Olympic tournament is Aug. 15-22, ending eight days before the start of the U.S. Open, where Roddick will defend his first major title.

Roddick hired Gilbert, who previously coached Andre Agassi, after a first-round loss in the French Open. With Gilbert, Roddick reached the Wimbledon semifinals, won the U.S. Open and rose to No. 1 in the rankings.

Gilbert, who spoke at an Oakland Athletics’ fund-raiser, is enthusiastic about the Olympics.

``I was with Andre when he won gold in ’96 in Atlanta, and I played on the team in Seoul in ’88,″ Gilbert said. ``It was a great experience.″

Two former No. 1 players recently said they will skip the Olympics.

Two-time major champion Lleyton Hewitt said the Athens competition is too close to the U.S. Open, while his girlfriend, Kim Clijsters, pulled out because she won’t be allowed to wear apparel from her own sponsor.

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