Andy Murray lost the Wimbledon Finals to Roger Federer.
Andy Murray lost the Wimbledon Finals to Roger Federer.

At the London Games, tennis players will be competing for gold at the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club -- the same courts which host the pinnacle of the sport: Wimbledon.

However, things will look different during the nine-day event which will begin Saturday, July 28 and continue until Aug. 5.

Rather than wearing traditional all-white Wimbledon attire, the athletes will be sporting their country's colors.

Adding to the departure from Wimbledon's traditional look, the grounds of the club will be adorned with advertisements and colorful Olympic logos.

While the aesthetics will be new, the role on tennis at this year's Games will also be different. Tennis has always been a moderately popular sport at the summer games, but it never had the same prestige as the Grand Slams for both players and fans. However, tennis has ascended to a highly anticipated sport in London.

This year, almost all of the top players on the men's and women's side will represent their country, indicating that Olympic Gold is just as prestigious as a Grand Slam title. Furthermore, a number of tennis players will be carrying their nation's flag, including Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Marcos Baghdatis, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Stanislas Wawrinka.

One thing that will be familiar however, is the exciting tennis that will take place in the men's singles competition.

Although world No. 3 Rafael Nadal withdrew from the men's singles event due to aggravated tendonitis in his knees, other participants in the field will provide plenty of entertainment for viewers around the world.

Switzerland's Roger Federer is the favorite to take home his first Olympic Gold medal in singles after he retook the No. 1 ranking and won his seventh Wimbledon title. His unmatched record at the venue and on the grass surface gives him an edge against the rest of the field.

In the past however, this tournament has been elusive to Federer, who has won every Grand Slam and is widely considered the greatest tennis player of all time. In 2004, he lost in the second round to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, and in 2008 he fell to James Blake of the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

Federer's toughest matchup will come against Serbia's Djokovic. Djokovic started the season on a high note after winning the Australian Open in January, but has only won one tournament since then.

Regardless, Djokovic has been one of the most impressive players on the tour, reaching the finals of five tournaments. The world No. 2 is expected to take home a medal, and possibly gold now that Nadal is no longer in the tournament.

Another major contender is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France who will be making his Olympic debut in London. Tsonga has beaten all of the top players and reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and the semifinals of Wimbledon. He has always done well on grass, so this will be a great opportunity for him to medal.

Despite all the big names in contention, the most followed player on the men's side will undoubtedly be home favorite and Wimbledon finalist, Andy Murray. With his spectacular play at this year's Wimbledon and the support of the host nation, Murray will be a dangerous opponent who can shock Federer and Djokovic.

Murray is also entering the Games with a desire for revenge. At his 2008 Olympic debut in Beijing, Murray was shocked by Taiwan's lowly ranked Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets in the first round.

For me, the memory I have from the last Olympics in Beijing was watching the 100 metres final. ...because I lost early in the singles so I had some time to do that...I hope that is not the case this time, he told reporters at a Team Great Britain tennis press conference.

Murray also noted that preparing for the Olympics has helped him get his Wimbledon loss to Federer. For the Scot, an Olympic title would more than make up for his disappointment in Beijing and at Wimbledon.

With the motivation to prove himself and the backing of a home crowd that was mesmerized by his historic performance three weeks ago, Murray will be the big tennis story at the Games and can bring home a coveted gold medal.

All matches on the men's and women's side will be best-of-three sets with the exception of the men's singles final, which will be best-of-five. The draw will be announced on Thursday, July 26.


Gold: Federer

Silver: Murray

Bronze: Djokovic