• Thu. Jul 29th, 2021

Djokovic pursues Golden Slam as Canadians, other big names dwindle at Olympics | CBC Sports

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Jul 22, 2021

Though lots of the high names will not be there, the Olympic tennis tournaments ought to nonetheless present loads of intrigue.

From Andy Murray’s try at a three-peat to Novak Djokovic’s “Golden Slam” to Canada’s dwindling podium hopes, this is every thing it’s best to find out about tennis at Tokyo 2020:

Format

Olympic tennis appears to be like like some other ATP or WTA event. The singles attracts characteristic 64 opponents every, with doubles at 32 pairs every and blended doubles with 16.

The first particular person to take two units wins the match in each event. The solely main distinction from typical competitors is the addition of a bronze-medal match.

Canadian contenders

The Canadian contingent doesn’t practically dwell as much as its potential as Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil all dropped out over varied damage and pandemic-related issues.

Still, the nation has an affordable shot at successful its second tennis medal ever, following Daniel Nestor and Sebastien Lareau’s doubles bronze in 2000.

Find dwell streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking information and extra in a single good Olympic Games package deal. Following Team Canada has by no means been simpler or extra thrilling.

More from Tokyo 2020

Felix Auger-Aliassime is ranked a career-high 15th following his run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals, a career-best consequence at a serious.

“I’m already in a position where I’ve beaten the best players on the tour, and you never know what can happen in a competition,” he instructed the Canadian Press not too long ago.

The 20-year-old’s forceful type, which features a sturdy serve, ought to go well with him effectively on the arduous courts of Tokyo’s Ariake Tennis Park.

He’ll need to take care of Murray in his Olympic debut, a tall process regardless of Murray’s weakened recreation 9 years after his first gold medal.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime drops Wimbledon quarter-final to Berrettini:

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime fell to Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 3:23

Auger-Aliassime had been scheduled to play doubles with Pospisil, who withdrew just nine days before the tournament was set to begin.

Meanwhile, Canada has just one entry in women’s singles: 18-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez.

Ranked 72rd, the Montreal lefty hasn’t won more than a single match in any tournament since collecting her first career WTA title in Mexico in March.

Fernandez won the junior French Open as recently as 2019 and defeated then-No. 5 Belinda Bencic in Fed Cup play in 2020, so it’s conceivable she could make a run in Tokyo. But she’s certainly an underdog.

WATCH | Fernandez victorious at Monterrey Open:

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., defeats Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-1, 6-Four within the closing of Monterrey Open. The 18-year-old didn’t drop a set for your entire event. 5:22

In girls’s doubles, Canada will depend on Gabriela Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman.

Dabrowski, 29, has earned 9 profession doubles titles and is at present ranked 14th within the self-discipline. Though she’s by no means received a girls’s doubles main title, she took high spot on the 2017 French Open and 2018 Australian Open in blended doubles.

Fichman, 30, stepped away from tennis in 2016 and labored as a commentator earlier than returning solely to play doubles in 2018, saying her inspiration was to succeed in the Tokyo Olympics.

Fichman’s fiancé Dylan Moscovitch competed in determine skating for Canada on the 2014 Olympics, successful group silver. 

International athletes to look at

Novak Djokovic is 2 titles away from males’s tennis historical past.

The No. 1 participant on the earth has already collected Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2021. An Olympic gold and U.S. Open victory would make him the second particular person ever to win the “Golden Slam” after Steffi Graf in 1988.

And the Serbian will not need to undergo his two nemeses, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who every dropped out citing accidents.

WATCH | Djokovic equals Federer, Nadal with 20th Grand Slam:

Novak Djokovic continues to make tennis history, this time with his 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Matteo Berrettini in London. 2:57

World No. 6 Dominic Thiem also chose not to compete in Tokyo, while lower-ranked big names like Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios are out too.

England’s Sir Andy Murray will be in Tokyo as he attempts to defend his back-to-back gold medals. Murray downed Djokovic in the 2012 semifinals on home soil in London. But as Djokovic has risen to match Nadal and Federer’s record 20 major titles, Murray, now 34, has mostly faded amid hip injuries. They can only face off in the final.

Top players Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev could also threaten Djokovic. Japan’s Kei Nishikori stands as the host nation’s top hope in the men’s tournament.

The women’s draw, meanwhile, is fuller despite the absence of four-time gold medallist Serena Williams and former world No. 1 Simona Halep.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka, already a superstar, could raise her profile even further with Olympic gold on home soil.

But the WTA’s second-ranked player hasn’t competed since dropping out of the French Open following her decision to accept fines for skipping media at Roland Garros to protect her mental health. 

WATCH | Osaka on the frontlines of athletes’ fight for mental health:

Hosts of Bring It In Morgan Campbell, Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin talk about Naomi Osaka pulling out of the French Open and the social media frenzy that ensued after. 14:50

Osaka should undergo world No. 1 Ash Barty, who’s contemporary off a Wimbledon title.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek, ranked eighth, received the 2018 Youth Olympic Games event.

Aryna Sabalenka, Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina are amongst different top-10 gamers who may discover themselves standing on the rostrum.

Everything else

  • Serena and Venus Williams share the all-time file with 4 gold medals apiece, however neither will compete at Tokyo 2020.
  • While Federer, now 39, is prone to full his hall-of-fame profession with out Olympic singles gold, he did win males’s doubles alongside Wawrinka in 2008.
  • Since its return in 1984, tennis has been performed on arduous courts in each Olympics apart from 1992 in Barcelona (clay) and 2012 in London (grass).

Key dates

  • July 24: All tournaments start
  • July 30: Men’s doubles gold and bronze
  • July 31: Women’s singles gold and bronze; males’s singles bronze; girls’s doubles bronze; blended doubles bronze
  • Aug 1: Men’s singles gold; girls’s doubles gold; blended doubles gold

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