LONDON (AP) _ Nations can field six players in women's tennis at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an increase of two from the 2004 Games.
The International Tennis Federation and the WTA Tour announced the change Thursday after completing negotiations to again award ranking points for the competition.
The WTA rankings will be used to determine the top 56 entries in the 64-player singles draw for women. Nations can be eligible for up to four entries in singles.
WTA Tour chief executive officer Larry Scott said the agreement ensures players are ``selected based on merit, which is a principle of the utmost importance and one that is consistent with the spirit of the Olympic Games.''
The WTA first awarded ranking points for the Olympic tennis event in 2004. Teams can nominate a separate doubles team if one of the pair is ranked in the top 10 in doubles.
``More of the top women players will be eligible to compete in Beijing and that is good news for everyone,'' ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said.
Six of the remaining eight singles places will be selected by the ITF's Olympic Committee, taking into consideration a player's singles computer ranking and a geographic distribution of nations entered.
The remaining two places will be chosen by a committee featuring representatives from the International Olympic Committee and the ITF.
The ITF was still in negotiation with the men's tour. The ATP awarded ranking points for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic events.
Tennis will be played Aug. 10-17 in Beijing.