The WTA and ATP have published the entry lists for the Tokyo Olympic Tennis Event, which starts on Saturday, despite the uncertainty that remains with players subject to testing and travel, as well as a COVID-19 outbreak in the Athletes Village.
I hope, and must believe, that come September the domestic audience, and the world at large, will have enjoyed and embraced two sporting miracles safely delivered. Alex Hughes, ITF Senior Manager – Olympics, Paralympics and Multi-Sports Games
The arrival of Ash Barty in Tokyo on Monday allayed some fears as the World No 1 is set to headline the women’s singles, with Naomi Osaka as the second seed.
According to the WTA, the ITF confirmed the final entry lists on Friday 17 July but did not post this on its website.
The finalised entry list includes 15 of the WTA Top 20, with only the USA’s Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, Romania’s Simona Halep, and Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka opting out.
On the men’s side, 8 of the Top 10 players in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin feature in a revised entry list, including Novak Djokovic, who will continue his historic pursuit of a golden Grand Slam after the 34-year-old claimed the first three majors of the year, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Other ATP stars including two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev, and Diego Schwartzman will also be in action.
Between the men’s and women’s fields, a total of 46 nations will be represented in this year’s Olympic Tennis Event, which will take place at Ariake Tennis Park from 24 July – 1 August.
According to the ITF’s Olympic Qualification System, entries are based on the WTA rankings on 14 June, 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 but 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 8 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 Grand Slam champion who does not qualify by ranking, and (3) representatives from the host nation.
The full men’s and women’s entry list is below:
- ARGENTINA – Men’s singles: Diego Schwartzman, Facundo Bagnis, Federico Coria, Francisco Cerundolo (ITF); Women’s singles: Nadia Podoroska (ITF); Men’s Doubles: Andres Molteni & Horacio Zeballos, Facundo Bagnis & Diego Schwartzman
- AUSTRALIA – Men’s singles: John Millman, James Duckworth; Women’s Singles: Ashleigh Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic, Samantha Stosur (ITF); Men’s doubles: John Peers & Max Purcell, John Millman & Luke Saville; Women’s doubles: Ashleigh Barty & Storm Sanders, Ellen Perez & Samantha Stosur
- AUSTRIA – Men’s doubles: Oliver Marach/Philipp Oswald
- BELARUS – Men’s singles; Egor Gerasimov, Ilya Ivashka; Women’s Singles: Aryna Sabalenka
- BELGIUM – Women’s Singles: Elise Mertens, Alison Van Uytvanck; Men’s doubles: Sander Gille & Joran Vliegen; Women’s doubles: Elise Mertens & Alison Van Uytvanck
- BOLIVIA – Men’s singles: Hugo Dellien
- BRAZIL – Men’s singles; Thiago Monteiro, Joao Menezes (ITF); Men’s doubles: Marcelo Melo & Bruno Soares, Marcelo Demoliner & Thiago Monteiro; Women’s doubles: Laura Pigossi & Luisa Stefani
- CANADA -Women’s Singles: Leylah Fernandez; Women’s doubles: Gabriela Dabrowski & Sharon Fichman
- CHILE – Men’s singles: Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera (ITF)
- CHINA, P.R. – Women’s Singles: Zheng Saisai, Wang Qiang (ITF); Women’s doubles: Xu Yifan & Yang Zhaoxuan, Duan Yingying & Zheng Saisai
- CHINESE TAIPEI – Men’s singles: Yen-Hsun Lu; Women’s doubles: Chan Hao-Ching & Letisha Chan, Hsieh Yu-Chieh & Hsu Chieh-Yu
- COLOMBIA – Men’s singles: Daniel Elahi Galan; Women’s Singles: Maria Camila Osario Serrano; Men’s doubles: Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah
- CROATIA – Men’s singles: Marin Cilic; Women’s Singles: Donna Vekic; Men’s doubles: Nikola Mektic & Mate Pavic, Marin Cilic & Ivan Dodig; Women’s doubles: Darija Jurak/Donna Vekic
- CZECH REPUBLIC – Men’s singles: Tomas Machac (ITF); Women’s Singles: Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Barbora Krejcikova, Marketa Vondrousova; Women’s doubles: Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, Karolina Pliskova & Marketa Vondrousova
- EGYPT – Men’s singles: Mohamed Safwat (ITF); Women’s Singles: Mayar Sherif (ITF)
- ESTONIA – Women’s singles: Anett Kontaveit
- FRANCE – Men’s singles: Gael Monfils, Ugo Humbert, Jeremy Chardy, Gilles Simon; Women’s Singles: Fiona Ferro, Kristina Mladenovic, Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia; Men’s doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut, Jeremy Chardy & Gael Monfils; Women’s doubles: Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic, Alize Cornet & Fiona Ferro
- GEORGIA – Men’s singles: Nikoloz Basilashvili
- GERMANY – Men’s singles: Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff, Dominik Koepfer, Philipp Kohlschreiber; Women’s Singles: Laura Siegemund, Mona Barthel, Anna-Lena Friedsam (ITF); Men’s doubles: Jan-Lennard Struff & Alexander Zverev, Kevin Krawietz & Tim Puetz; Women’s doubles: Anna-Lena Friedsam & Laura Siegemund
- GREAT BRITAIN – Men’s singles: Andy Murray (ITF); Women’s Singles: Heather Watson; Men’s doubles: Andy Murray & Joe Salisbury, Jamie Murray & Neal Skupski
- GREECE – Men’s singles: Stefanos Tsitsipas; Women’s Singles: Maria Sakkari
- HUNGARY – Men’s singles: Marton Fucsovics
- INDIA – Men’s singles: Sumit Nagal (ITF); Women’s doubles: Sania Mirza & Ankita Raina
- ITALY – Men’s singles: Lorenzo Sonego, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Musetti, Women’s Singles: Camila Giorgi, Jasmine Paolini, Sara Errani (ITF); Men’s doubles: Lorenzo Musetti & Lorenzo Sonego
- JAPAN – Men’s singles: Yoshihito Nishioka, Kei Nishikori, Taro Daniel, Yuichi Sugita; Women’s Singles: Naomi Osaka, Misaki Doi, Nao Hibino; Men’s doubles: Ben McLachlan & Kei Nishikori (Host); Women’s doubles: Shuko Aoyama & Ena Shibahara (Host), Nao Hibino & Makoto Ninomiya
- KAZAKHSTAN – Men’s singles: Alexander Bublik, Mikhail Kukushkin; Women’s Singles: Elena Rybakina, Yulia Putintseva, Yaroslava Shvedova, Zarina Diyas; Men’s doubles: Alexander Bublik & Andrey Golubev
- KOREA, REP. – Men’s singles: Soonwoo Kwon
- LATVIA – Women’s singles: Jelena Ostapenko, Anastasija Sevastova; Women’s doubles: Jelena Ostapenko & Anastasija Sevastova
- MEXICO – Women’s doubles: Giuliana Olmos & Renata Zarazua
- NETHERLANDS – Women’s singles: Kiki Bertens; Men’s doubles: Wesley Koolhof & Jean-Julien Rojer; Women’s doubles: Kiki Bertens & Demi Schuurs
- NEW ZEALAND – Men’s doubles: Marcus Daniell & Michael Venus
- PARAGUAY – Women’s singles: Veronica Cepede Royg (ITF)
- PERU – Men’s singles: Juan Pablo Varillas (ITF)
- POLAND – Men’s singles: Hubert Hurkacz, Kamil Majchrzak; Women’s Singles: Iga Swiatek, Magda Linette; Men’s doubles: Hubert Hurkacz & Lukasz Kubot; Women’s doubles: Magda Linette/Alicja Rosolska
- PORTUGAL – Men’s singles: Pedro Sousa, Joao Sousa; Men’s doubles: Joao Sousa/Pedro Sousa
- ROMANIA – Women’s singles: Mihaela Buzarnescu (ITF); Women’s doubles: Monica Niculescu/Raluca Olaru
- ROC – Men’s singles:Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov; Women’s singles: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudermetova, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Elena Vesnina; Men’s doubles: Aslan Karatsev & Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov & Andrey Rublev; Women’s doubles: Veronika Kudermetova & Elena Vesnina
- SERBIA – Men’s singles: Novak Djokovic, Miomir Kecmanovic; Women’s singles: Nina Stojanovic, Ivana Jorovic; Women’s doubles: Aleksandra Krunic & Nina Stojanovic
- SLOVAKIA – Men’s singles: Norbert Gombos; Men’s doubles: Lukas Klein & Filip Polasek
- SPAIN – Men’s singles: Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Pablo Andujar, Roberto Carballes Baena: Women’s Singles: Garbine Muguruza, Paula Badosa, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Carla Suarez Navarro; Men’s doubles: Pablo Carreno Busta & Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Pablo Andujar & Roberto Carballes Baena; Women’s doubles: Garbine Muguruza & Carla Suarez Navarro, Paula Badosa & Sara Sorribes Tormo
- SWEDEN – Women’s singles: Rebecca Peterson
- SWITZERLAND – Women’s Singles: Belinda Bencic, Viktorija Golubic; Women’s doubles: Belinda Bencic & Viktorija Golubic
- TUNISIA – Women’s singles: Ons Jabeur
- UKRAINE – Women’s singles: Elina Svitolina, Dayana Yastremska; Women’s doubles: Elina Svitolina & Dayana Yastremska, Lyudmyla Kichenok & Nadiia Kichenok
- USA – Men’s singles: Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren, Marcos Giron; Women’s Singles: Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula, Alison Riske; Men’s doubles: Rajeev Ram & Frances Tiafoe, Austin Krajicek & Tennys Sandgren; Women’s doubles: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jessica Pegula
- UZBEKISTAN – Men’s singles: Denis Istomin (ITF)
There are significant challenges ahead and Alex Hughes, the ITF’s Senior Manager – Olympics, Paralympics and Multi-Sports Games, acknowledges that the logistics of completing the events are complex.
“There’s certainly never been a Games like Tokyo 2020 and as a stand-alone logistical achievement (yet to be delivered, admittedly), I’m really struggling to muster a serious challenger,” he says on the ITF website.
“Where to start? Eleven years from the start of the bidding process. Seven years of construction, planning, and preparations. The equivalent of holding 46 individual world championships, at the same time, all (almost) inside one city, all at different venues, and all within 16 days.
“Now fly in 11,000 athletes from every country in the world, add a further 20,000 for their entourage, 25,000 media, 80,000 volunteers, plus a similar number of security, not to mention us, the international federations and all the technical officials we bring. Everyone wants accommodation, transport, food… and everything to run smoothly.
“And when it’s all done and dusted and you’ve got your thumb on the cork, you do it all again three weeks later when the Paralympic Games get underway.
“Anyone who’s worked a Games will tell you there’s never been an ‘easy’ delivery, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it. And Tokyo had it all in hand. They were ready, described as the best-prepared in history, set to deliver a sumo-sized Games-extravaganza to out-do them all.
“And then, as we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and the world was turned upside down in devastating fashion.
“After a short period of evaluation, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 moved remarkably quickly in announcing the Games would be postponed and take place exactly one year later and begin with the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 23 July
“It sounded simple but what it actually represented was a commitment of, perhaps appropriately, Mount Olympus proportions. It had never been done before, never been realistically considered before, there was no blueprint and nobody really knew if it was possible.
“The scale and ambition of what Tokyo 2020 committed to with that announcement is impossible to convey meaningfully. I’ve spent 15 years working on Olympic and Paralympic Games and I have no idea how they’ve got to within touching distance of delivering these Games.
“At this stage, it would be remiss not to acknowledge that alongside that tingle of excitement is a layer of doubt. The concerns of the Japanese public have been widely reported, and it’s sometimes hard to reconcile our roles and participation against that backdrop.
“I hope, and must believe, that come September the domestic audience, and the world at large, will have enjoyed and embraced two sporting miracles safely delivered.”