When will the Tokyo Olympic Tennis Event take place?
The Tokyo Olympic Tennis Event will take place at the Ariake Tennis Park on Saturday, July 24th to Sunday, August 1st. The tournament will be played on hard courts.
Play starts at 11:00 a.m. local on the first six days of the event and then 12:00 p.m. for the last three days.
UPDATED: Due to the heat in Tokyo, the ITF has pushed back the start time for the final three days of the tennis competition. Starting on Thursday, July 29th through the medal rounds, matches will begin at 3 p.m. local time.
In the interests of player health and welfare and following extensive consultation, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Tennis Event matches will begin at 3pm JST from Thursday 29 July#Tokyo2020 #tennis pic.twitter.com/skqh9ALRIV— ITF Media (@ITFMedia) July 28, 2021
Tennis was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 but was removed after the Paris 1924 Games. It returned 64 years later at the 1998 Olympics in Seoul, where Stefanie Graf won gold for West Germany. A few months later, she won the US Open to become the only player in tennis history to complete "The Golden Slam."
Ariake Tennis Park? That sounds familiar
The Ariake Tennis Park has been the site of the WTA 500 Toray Pan Pacific Open and has been under construction for renovation since the 2018 season.
Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness ❤️ love you guys thank you. pic.twitter.com/CacWQ5ToUD— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 23, 2021
When will the medal rounds be played?
The women's singles gold medal and bronze medal matches, as well as the women's doubles bronze medal match and mixed doubles bronze medal match will be played on Saturday, July 31.
The women's doubles gold medal match and mixed doubles gold medal match will be played on Sunday, Aug. 1.
How does Olympic qualifying work?
According to the ITF’s Olympic Qualification System, entries are based on the WTA rankings on June 14, the Monday after Roland Garros. 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. However, with the deadline for adding new players having passed, any further replacements would need to be from players already on-site in Tokyo, e.g., a doubles-only player moving into the singles draw.
In addition to direct qualification of the top 56 players by ranking - with no more than four singles players qualifying per nation - the ITF also reserves eight Final Qualification Places. These qualification spots are held for (1) athletes based on their performance at the Pan American Games, the Asian Games and the African Games, (2) one previous gold medalist or Slam champion who does not qualify by ranking, (3) representatives from the host nation.
From the highest individual high to the ultimate team event …— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) July 14, 2021
Newly crowned Wimbledon champion @ashbarty can’t wait to make her Olympics debut.
#GoAussies @AUSOlympicTeam #TokyoTogether pic.twitter.com/KFHvQi2dyK
So who's playing in Tokyo?
The ITF published the final entry list on July 17. The final entry list has 15 of the WTA Top 20 confirmed for Tokyo, including World No.1 and Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty and World No.2 and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka. The field also features the top nine players on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen.
Pending any further changes, here are the projected Top 8 seeds for Tokyo:
1. Ashleigh Barty, Australia
2. Naomi Osaka, Japan
3. Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus
4. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
5. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
6. Iga Swiatek, Poland
7. Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain
8. Barbora Krejcikova, Czech Republic
Who won the medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics?
Singles - Gold: Monica Puig (PUR), Silver: Angelique Kerber (GER), Bronze: Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Doubles - Gold: Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina (RUS), Silver: Timea Bacsinszky/Martina Hingis (SUI), Bronze: Lucie Safarova/Barbora Strycova (CZE)
Mixed Doubles - Gold: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jack Sock (USA), Silver: Venus Williams/Rajeev Ram (USA), Bronze: Lucie Hradecka/Radek Stepanek (CZE)
The Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova is the only singles medalist from Rio returning in Tokyo. She defeated Madison Keys in three sets in the bronze medal match. In Doubles, Rio gold medalist Elena Vesnina returns and will partner with Veronika Kudermetova. The Russian duo is fresh off their run to the Wimbledon final two weeks ago.
What is the format for the women's events?
The women's singles event will be a 64-player draw. The women's doubles event is a 32-team draw and the Mixed Doubles will be a 16-team draw. Players are entitled to enter all three events if they qualify. The mixed doubles teams will be determined once the players are on site.
Singles: Best of 3 tiebreak sets
Doubles/mixed: Best of 3 sets, match tiebreak in the third set.
Amigas desde 2007… 2021 estamos cumpliendo un sueño… ir a unas olimpiadas representando a 🇪🇸 JUNTAS. Afortunada de estar viviendo todo esto a tu lado. No podría tener una mejor compañera. ❤️ @sara_sorribes 🤝 pic.twitter.com/Y2Ir3mmWtC— Paula Badosa (@paulabadosa) July 17, 2021
Will participants be awarded WTA ranking points?
No WTA ranking points will be offered. The last time points were offered at the Olympics was the 2012 London Olympics.
How does Tokyo Olympic Tennis affect the rest of the WTA tennis calendar?
Olympic years always create an impacted summer schedule, and 2021 is no different. The WTA has two WTA 250 events underway this week at the BNP Paribas Poland Open and Palermo Ladies Open, both played on clay. During the Olympics, two WTA 125 events will take place in Belgrade, Serbia and Charleston, South Carolina, also played on clay.
The players will then head to North America for the summer hardcourt season. The first WTA 500 event to take place after the Olympics is the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, California, which begins on Aug. 2, the day after the Olympic medal rounds conclude. For players who would like to stay in Europe to play on clay, they will have the option of the Winners Open, a WTA 250 event in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
The heart of the summer season begins one week after Tokyo, with back-to-back WTA 1000 events at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. All roads lead to the US Open, which begins on Aug. 30.