|The ITF has announced the complete entry lists for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Tennis Events. The Olympic Tennis Event will be held at the Ariake Tennis Park from Saturday 24 July until Sunday 1 August, with the Paralympic Tennis Event following at the same venue from Friday 27 August until Saturday 4 September. A total of 46 nations are represented in this year’s Olympic Tennis Event, with 31 nations contesting the Paralympic Tennis Event. |
Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Ashleigh Barty (AUS) head the Olympic entries, and Shingo Kunieda (JPN), Diede de Groot (NED) and Dylan Alcott (AUS) top the Paralympic line-up. According to the ITF’s Qualification Systems, entries are based on the ATP and WTA rankings of 14 June, and ITF wheelchair tennis rankings of 7 June. All players must be in good standing with their national association and have made themselves available to represent their country in the ITF’s international team competitions. The entry lists are still subject to change.
There will be strong representation from the host nation across both events, with four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka bidding for women’s singles gold, and two-time Paralympic singles champion Kunieda and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Yui Kamiji in contention for wheelchair tennis gold. Two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray returns to defend his men’s singles title having received an ITF Place as the player with the most Olympic and Grand Slam titles outside the direct entries. A new women’s champion is guaranteed in the absence of defending champion Monica Puig (PUR) through injury. Gordon Reid (GBR) and Alcott will defend their Paralympic singles titles, while there will also be a new women’s wheelchair champion.
Entries for the 16-pair Olympic mixed doubles event will be determined on site during the Olympic Tennis Event on 27 July. Entries for the three doubles events at the Paralympic Tennis Event will be announced at the end of the July.
To read about the history of the Olympics with facts, figures, records, medal scrolls and fun anecdotes, buy “The Olympic Tennis Fact Book” by Randy Walker here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DC1ZBDD/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_NHFCMAWSWNWA8CE087G5 via @amazon
Olympic Tennis Entries can be found here: https://event.itftennis.com/media/319254/319254.pdf?utm_campaign=1850479_PRL%20-%20Tokyo%202020%20Entry%20Lists&utm_medium=email&utm_source=emailtwocircles&dm_i=4OYA,13NU7,3HGE3W,50Q2D,1
Paralympic Tennis Entries can be found here: https://event.itftennis.com/media/319255/319255.pdf?utm_campaign=1850479_PRL%20-%20Tokyo%202020%20Entry%20Lists&utm_medium=email&utm_source=emailtwocircles&dm_i=4OYA,13NU7,3HGE3W,50Q2D,1
By Ashley Babich
MOST LIKELY TO BE CALLED A GOAT, in a good way: Serena Williams. (Duh.)
Completing her Golden Slam — winning all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympics gold medal in singles — Serena displayed her best tennis this side of age 30. Serena dismantled her opponents in outright domination (read: beating Maria Sharapova in the gold medal final, 6-0, 6-1, in an hour and three minutes). In addition, Serena’s last three opponents were the last three women to hold the No. 1 ranking. Please, let the Greatest Of All Time talk carry on while Serena continues her supreme level of awesomeness.
(And never far from controversy, chosen or not, Serena stirred the pot with her post-win celebration dance, otherwise known as the Crip Walk. Some see it as an act of pure joy; others take it as a nod to the gang associated with the name.)
Time out. Did I forget to mention that Serena also won an Olympic gold medal in doubles with her sister Venus, their second consecutive gold medal in doubles?
Okay. GOAT talk may resume.
MOST IMPROVED: Andy Murray
For a tennis player who has continuously frustrated his fans, and his nation, with his ability to make it to Grand Slam finals but his inability to win them, Andy Murray finally had his chance to savor victory. Finally! Did I already say that? I mean it.
There has been endless chatter about Murray being the sole hope for Great Britain’s success in the current tennis realm; after figuratively carrying the nation on his back all these years, and being unable to deliver the prize at Wimbledon, Murray literally wore the Union Jack on his back and brought home what some might say is even better than a Wimbledon title: the Olympic gold medal AT Wimbledon.
With an inspiring win over a slightly-flat Roger Federer, Murray got a taste of revenge for the loss to Federer four weeks ago to the day in the Wimbledon final. Considering that Murray had only won ONE set in the FOUR Grand Slam finals he’s reached, the 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Federer speaks volumes. Match point? An ace. #helloconfidence
Understanding that Murray’s chance to win an Olympic medal in London was literally only going to come around once, it is hard not to appreciate what a massive feat this is for him. Joy and tears all around, unless you are a Federer fan, who was denied his chance at a Golden Slam.
MOST LIKELY TO BE SENT TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE (aka the BRAVO studio): Ryan Harrison
At 20-years-old, Ryan Harrison was the youngest American tennis player on the team, and the one who struggled the most to balance emotion and passion. In his debut match at the Olympics, Harrison threw his racquet to the ground multiple times while losing to Santiago Giraldo 7-5, 6-3. The following day, Harrison apologized to the nation during an interview on BRAVO.
Said Harrison, “My actions were in no way trying to represent the country poorly. I feel terrible. I wish I could take it back. I am sorry to everyone I offended. I hope you can see the improvements from before.”
Harrison is thought by many to have a big role in the future of American tennis, but he is often criticized for his on-court temper. Though, it seems fair to mention that if he had not been representing the USA at the Olympics, a couple of racquet smashes would not have been particularly note-worthy. It will be interesting to see if this incident and resulting apology will have any effect on his future on-court temperament.
BEST DISPLAY OF TWINNING: Bob & Mike Bryan
Twinning! Sorry. Had to.
So, speaking of Golden Slams, the Bryan Brothers completed their own with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) gold medal win over the French duo of Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The jumping and hugging that ensued after their win was full of pure joy, and hinted that this win was sweeter because of its rarity. The Bryan Brothers are approaching a total of 300 weeks as the world’s top-ranked doubles team and have won all four Grand Slams, three of them at least twice! But an Olympic gold medal was the missing piece.
As Bob Bryan said, “There’s no bigger match we’d rather win than that one, Centre Court, Wimbledon, for our country, for each other. We’re 34 years old, and we’ve played tennis since we were 2-years-old. That’s a lot of balls going across the net, and this is it. This is the top of the mountain.”
CUTEST CONGRATULATORY TWEET: Micaela Bryan
Speaking of the joyous Bryan Brothers…. Micaela Bryan, Bob’s 6-month-old daughter, is the star of a very adorable Twitter account and often tweets shout-outs to various players, in addition to her many delightful pictures. After her dad and uncle won their gold medals in doubles, this was tweeted to the world. #aww
MOST LIKELY TO STEAL THE SPOTLIGHT: Henry Caplan
Unsure who Henry Caplan is? We all were just 48 hours ago! Remember the little boy who appeared as if out of nowhere near Andy Murray’s box and yelled bravely for Murray to turn around and give him a hug? And then proceeded to bury his face in Murray’s shoulder in a way that made hundreds of thousands of people watching collectively say, “awwww” while wiping away tears? (Or was that just me?) I think in that exact moment, most people in the world wanted to give Murray a warm congratulatory hug, and this little 11-year-old just had the guts to ask for it.
As Caplan told the BBC, “I was hugging my dad and the next moment I was gone. I was down near the royal box area in front of Roger Federer’s family and then I hugged Andy Murray. I just thought I had to be there.”
Caplan says that Murray said to him, “anything for my fans.”
So many levels of adorable. Dare you not to smile.
By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Barely a day has gone by since the doors of SW19 closed and the 2012 Olympic dream for many was over. It was a wonderful week on the grass that brought smiles, laughter, tears, Boris Becker-inspired dives and even a little victory dance that we shall never forget. Here is a look at some of the many surprises, shocks, disappointments and special moments from a very special week in tennis:
A Golden Moment: Andy Murray had walked off Centre Court four weeks earlier in floods of tears, sorrow in his heart and with all of his Grand Slam victory hopes crushed at the hands of Roger Federer, fast-forward four weeks and the results had completely reversed. Andy Murray defeated the 7-time Wimbledon champion in straight sets to win the Olympic gold medal and he looked as though the weight of the world had fallen off his shoulders as he clambered up to his box to celebrate with his team and family – a moment that he, his fans and Great Britain will never forget! As a special tribute to his victory, the Royal Mail have announced that a special first class postage stamp shall be made in honour of his unforgettable achievement at the Games.
A Bitter-Sweet Result: For Roger Federer the only title missing from his illustrious list of achievements is the Olympic gold medal and many had tipped the world No.1 for Olympic success at the tournament in Wimbledon. But alas, it was not meant to be for the Swiss maestro, however, he did not leave empty handed, he walked away with a silver medal and at least now he can say he has won an Olympic medal in the singles event as well as the doubles (he won the gold medal with compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing).
Serena Sees Double: There is no doubt in anybody’s mind right now that Serena Williams is once again on top of her game. After being hospitalized with a potentially life-threatening blood clot, she fought against the odds, her body and her critics to claw her way back to the top of her game, in fact all the way to the top of the podium at the Olympics – not once, but twice. Serena enjoyed a phenomenal run through the Olympic tournament to win her first Olympic gold medal and achieve her Career Golden Slam in the singles and then went on to win the gold medal in the doubles with her big sister, Venus. A remarkable achievement for the American. Congratulations Queen Serena!
Disappointment for Djokovic: Novak Djokovic had a dream 2011 and after reaching the top of his game, achieving the world No.1 spot, many expected him to repeat his phenomenal year in 2012. Were they asking too much of Djokovic? Was he asking too much of himself? Who knows? Djokovic has admitted he is feeling tired and at the Olympics he could not find his A-game to win a medal. He won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but could not repeat this success in 2012. Djokovic will look for a good run at the Masters Series events before the US Open starts where he will defend his title.
Shock Losses and Early Exits: There were some shock losses at the Olympics, which raised a few eyebrows early on at the start of the tournament. Tomas Berdych and Agnieszka Radwanska delivered two of the biggest surprises as they were knocked out in the opening round of the tournament. Berdych was a Wimbledon finalist in 2010 and after he lost in the opening round of Wimbledon this year, many expected more from him at the Olympics. Radwanska was a finalist at Wimbledon this year and she was surprisingly ousted in the opening round.
We have not had much chance for tennis withdrawals as thankfully this week the players are back in action at the Masters Series events in Toronto and Montreal, Canada.
By Maud Watson
As the tennis portion of the Olympics nears its close, it’s not a bad time to reflect on what this past week has meant in the sport. On the one hand, it’s essentially another event on the calendar featuring many familiar faces playing on a familiar surface, and in the case of the 2012 Olympics, is being contested at a very familiar venue. But the event also has thrown in some curves. Due to qualification rules, some of the sport’s bigger names are absent. It also produced a draw that saw some unusual early matchups, such as A. Radwanska vs. Goerges and Roddick vs. Djokovic. In addition, the Olympics seem to be where you see many of the established stars struggle to find their best early and when it matters most. This is more likely due to wanting to medal for their respective countries and the players recognizing they have very few opportunities to add an Olympic medal to their career records rather than the Olympics themselves being held in higher regard than the slams. Even the governing bodies of the tennis seem unsure of where the Olympics stand in the grand scheme of things. In singles, not only the majors, but the Masters 1000 events are worth more in ranking points, while no points are allocated for the doubles (so as not to punish a double players who comes from a country that can’t field a suitable partner). Looking at all of this, I’m still not convinced professional tennis should be a medal sport in the Olympics the way swimming, gymnastics, and track are, but there’s no denying that being a part of one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles hasn’t hurt any.
The buzz started back in January that Serena Williams and Andy Roddick were toying with playing mixed doubles at the Olympics, and then that fanned into talk of various American men vying to partner Serena in London. As the moment of truth came however, names like Serena, Roddick, and even Isner were absent from the Mixed Doubles draw. Instead, the U.S. opted to put forth the teams of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond and Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber. While on paper these two teams lack the star power of a Williams or a Roddick, kudos the United States for using some logic. After the Williams/Bryan debacle in Paris, and the quick exit of Roddick/Isner in the Men’s Doubles, it was a wise decision to field two teams of doubles specialists. Even though Bob and Huber lost, you still had to like both teams’ odds of winning a medal, and after their win at Wimbledon, Mike and Raymond aren’t a bad bet to go all the way.
They say it isn’t all that uncommon for players to feed off of good vibes they get from a tournament venue where they’ve tasted success in the past. Even when they’re floundering about, they somehow find a way to flip the switch and produce some good tennis. That’s exactly what happened to American Sam Querrey in L.A. last weekend. An ocean away from the hullabaloo in London, the native Californian has been looking to steadily raise his ranking as he comes back from injury, and he moved a big step towards that at the tournament he’d won two times previously. He absolutely thumped Berankis in the final, and the win saw him jump 19 places to No. 38 in the rankings. If Querrey can continue to build on that and start to exhibit more of the promise he showed earlier in his career, a seeding at the US Open and a Top 20 ranking are not out of the question.
That’s the name of the network, and that’s the cheer it deserves for its spectacular coverage of Olympic tennis this past week in the United States. NBC has taken a lot of heat (sometimes, rightfully so) for its coverage of the Games, particularly as it relates to those events it broadcasts on taped delay. But as far as the tennis goes, it’s enjoyed coverage similar to that of the majors. While not on NBC itself, it’s been right at home on Bravo – a channel typically on the same tier as the ESPN networks – and is broadcast essentially from when play starts on the two main show courts until done for the day. While the Wimbledon venue has undoubtedly added more clout to the event, hopefully the extensive coverage also represents an increase in both popularity and appreciation for tennis.
The Waiting Game
The biggest absence at the Olympic tennis event has been that of defending Gold Medalist Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard was forced to withdraw from the Games due to knee tendonitis, and now it appears the wait for Rafa’s return will continue. Shortly after pulling out from the Olympics, he announced that he wouldn’t rush his recovery and would therefore let his knees, and not the schedule, dictate when he would return. It seems that the knees are not yet ready to go, as he has opted to withdraw from the Canada Masters in Toronto. While not a surprise, it was a blow to tournament organizers, who have also seen withdraws from Ferrer, Monfils, and Verdasco, with more possibly to follow due to the Toronto event having the unenviable position of falling right after the Olympics. Cincy organizers will be hoping their event avoids a similar fate, and Nadal fans across the globe will be hoping against hope that Rafa is able to compete in the Queen City a little over a week from now.
The history of the tennis competition at the Olympic Games is documented in a new KINDLE ebook “Olympic Tennis: An Historical Snapshot” released by TennisGrandstand, LLC. The book provides readers with a compilation of anecdotes, summaries, scores, medalists and records from all of the Olympic tennis competitions from 1896 to 1924 and from 1988 to 2008. The 2012 Olympic tennis competition will be held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the site of the annual Championships at Wimbledon, where Roger Federer and Serena Williams just claimed singles titles.
“Olympic Tennis: An Historical Snapshot” serves as an excellent “program-like” guide for spectators planning to attend the Olympic tennis competition, where Federer, Williams, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Victroria Azarenka, Andy Murray and Agnieszka Radwanska are among the favorites. Readers will learn of such interesting facts as which U.S. President had medal-winning relatives in the tennis competition, what tennis player has played in the most Olympic tennis events, what were the longest – and shortest – matches ever played in the Olympic tennis competition and much more information include an Olympic tennis record book and a day-by-day summary of Olympic tennis happenings through the years.
The book is available for American readers here for a price of $2.99:
For residents of the United Kingdom, the book can be downloaded here: http://www.mailermailer.com/rd?http://www.amazon.co.uk/Olympic-Tennis-Historical-Snapshot-ebook/dp/B008EOXW40/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1342542285&sr=8-3
TennisGrandstand, LLC is a publishing company that runs the popular tennis websites www.TennisGrandstand.com and www.WorldTennisMagazine.com. It has also published the book “The Yoga Guide To Diet and Peace of Mind,” available here: http://www.mailermailer.com/rd?http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Guide-Diet-Peace-ebook/dp/B008AYME0C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342541363&sr=1-1&keywords=yoga+diet+peace+of+mind