France’s Julien Benneteau is wary of facing Russian No. 1 Mikhail Youzhny in the first round of the Olympics tennis competition on Saturday, the Frenchman said Friday.
The event will be played at Wimbledon, where both players fell to eventual champion Roger Federer last month, Benneteau in the third round and Youzhny in the quarterfinals.
"Youzhny is tough. He made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon this year so he is good on grass.” Benneteau said.
“I've known him for a long time because we have the same agent and we played each other in juniors so I know he’s a very good player and very tough on grass.”
Federer is the likely Olympic second-round opponent for whichever of Benneteau and Youzhny wins.
“It's a difficult first round and if I win I will have a rematch with Roger Federer, but we will see,” Benneteau said.
“We know that Roger wants to win the gold in singles, it’s one of his major goals this year after Wimbledon and he won that, so it's going to be tough, but you never know."
Youzhny has beaten Benneteau, the world No. 32, in four of their five meetings to date, although the Frenchman’s only win came on grass at Eastbourne.