U.S. Olympic tennis team lands in London

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

LONDON -- First-timers and veterans on the U.S. Olympic tennis team said they'll walk in Friday's opening ceremonies only if they're not playing the next day. They'll get their marching orders at Thursday's draw.

The two naturalized U.S. citizens on the team -- Varvara Lepchenko, whose family sought political asylum from their native Uzbekistan, and South African-born doubles specialist Liezl Huber -- would find it particularly hard to sit out the gala.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Huber said she felt "ugly" -- disheveled, grubby and tired after the long trip to London and team processing.

"But I'm telling you, when I was trying on the outfit for the opening ceremony, I looked OK,'' said Huber, who is known to shed tears during the national anthem at Fed Cup matches. "Having said that, we're here for one role and that's to do the best for our country, and if it means we have to skip [the opening ceremony], then that's the way it's going to be."

Other volleys from the press conference:

• Andy Roddick, winner of an ATP event in Atlanta last week, will be back on the surface where he has played in three Wimbledon finals, each successively more thrilling. "I certainly wasn't disappointed when London won the Games.'' he said.

• Mixed doubles pairings will be announced Tuesday. The Williams sisters were mum on their intentions, but given Venus' fragile health and that Serena may not want to play in three events, it appears unlikely.

• Serena on potentially becoming the first player to have all four Grand Slam events and both Olympic singles and doubles gold. "I actually didn't even know that, so no pressure," she said.

• Being the best doubles tandem in history doesn't grant any special privileges when it comes to Olympic security. Bob and Mike Bryan didn't have "validated" (i.e., laminated) credentials and weren't allowed into Olympic Park with the rest of the team. If asked, however, the twins would likely say that winning an Olympic gold medal is the biggest unchecked item on their tennis bucket lists. They've been eliminated by the eventual champions in the past two Summer Games, by Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in 2008 and Chile's Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu in 2004.

One-liner of the day: A regretful Venus Williams on whether she likes to shop in London: "That pound has always been so strong."