Tokyo Olympics Tennis: Finalists, where to watch & more


Tennis has been a part of the Summer Olympic Games since its inauguration in 1896.

While it was dropped for a period after the 1924 Olympics because of disputes regarding how amateur players should be defined, it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 and has stayed that way ever since.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s competition:

What is it?

The Olympic tennis tournament will see 188 players feature across five events.

It regularly attracts the best players in the world, with the likes of Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal all previous winners of gold medals at the Games.

For these reasons, it is considered one of the highest honours in professional tennis and is often referred to as an unofficial fifth major tournament.

When is it?

Both the men’s and women’s singles events will start on Saturday, July 24th, with the women’s final scheduled to take place a week later on the 31st and the men’s a day after on Sunday 1st August.

The men’s and women’s doubles also begin on the same day, while the mixed doubles start on Wednesday, July 28th.

What’s the format?

The tournament will be a single-elimination competition with the men’s and women’s singles draw both consisting of 64 competitors.

There will be six rounds in the singles draw, five in doubles and four in the mixed doubles.

All singles matches will be the best of three sets, with doubles matches playing a first to 10 points tiebreak instead of a third set.

Those who reach the semi-finals will all compete for a medal, with the losing semi-finalists playing one another to battle for the bronze medal.

Where is it?

Matches will be played on a hard court surface at the Ariake Coliseum, located in Kōtō, Tokyo. The arena is used for the Japan Open and the Pan Pacific Open.

It has a capacity of 10,000 and is one of the few professional tennis stadiums to boast a retractable roof.

How to watch?

BBC will be showing all the key moments from the Olympics this summer and this includes tennis.

Fans can watch on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, the BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website and app.

Who’s playing?

Qualification for the tournament is predominantly based on a player’s world ranking, though some spots are awarded for wildcards, host nations and previous gold medallists.

This year has seen a number of renowned names withdraw from the tournament for various reasons.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have both chosen to miss this year’s competition because of fitness problems, as has former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.

Serena Williams has also chosen to miss the tournament as she looks ahead to the US Open and the prospect of winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.

Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic is also a doubt. The Serbian star admitted that he’s unsure about playing in front of no fans with such tight restrictions.

The top two players from the women’s game will be in action, however, with both Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka scheduled to play in Tokyo.

Who are the defending champions?

Andy Murray is the back-to-back champion in the men’s singles, having won gold in both London and Rio de Janeiro.

The Brit has struggled with injuries in recent years and could only reach the third round of this year’s Wimbledon, but will still aim to defend his title in Tokyo.

In the women’s draw, Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig stormed to victory despite being unseeded, claiming her country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.

Puig will not defend her title in Tokyo though, having been forced out of the competition because of a shoulder injury.

When is the draw? 

The main draw ceremony for the Olympic tennis event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 22nd July at 11am local time at Ariake Tennis Park.

Who is still in the competition? 

Just two players remain in the women’s draw. These are Belinda Bencic and Markéta Vondroušová. Find out more about the two finalists here

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