ON-Tennis at the Tokyo Olympics
24 July, 2021, 6:15 am
Focus on tennis at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS * There are five events in total – singles and doubles tournaments for both men and women, and a mixed doubles competition.
* Each event follows an elimination format similar to most major tennis tournaments. Losers of the semi-finals play for the bronze medal. * This year’s Games will be played on a hardcourt surface, with a 64-player draw for singles and 32-team draw for doubles.
* To qualify for the singles tournament, athletes must rank in the world’s top 56 or have claimed the title at regional multi-sport events such as the Asian Games.
* The competition follows rules set by the International Tennis Federation.
HOW MANY MEDALS? Five gold medals are up for grabs.
WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?
Britain’s Andy Murray became the first person to win back-to-back golds after defending his men’s singles title. In the women’s event, Monica Puig clinched Puerto Rico’s first ever gold medal by upsetting three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber of Germany.
In the doubles tournaments, Russia (women’s), Spain (men’s) and the United States (mixed) took the gold medals.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?
Tokyo’s intense summer heat could pose a challenge, though the retractable roof at the main arena, the Ariake Coliseum, will provide some shelter for centre court matches if temperatures rise to extreme levels.
The men’s singles gold medal match will be played as a best-of-three sets, to be decided by tiebreakers if needed, instead of the previously best-of-five sets.
The men’s and women’s doubles matches will feature a 10-point “super tiebreaker” after a score of one-set all, a format already used for the mixed doubles event.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING? July 24 to Aug. 1
WHERE IS IT HAPPENING? Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo’s Koto ward.
HOW DID WE GET HERE? Tennis first featured at the Olympics in 1896, with a women’s singles event added in 1900. It was dropped from the programme after the 1924 Games and did not officially return until 1988 in Seoul.
WELL, FANCY THAT! Steffi Graf is the only player to achieve the calendar year “Golden Slam” after the German won all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic singles gold medal in 1988.