By Erik Gudris | Thursday, July 1, 2021
After months of speculation, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the official list of players that will compete in tennis at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
World No. 1’s Novak Djokovic for Serbia and Ash Barty for Australia headline the list of players who will play for medals from July 24th to August 1st in Tokyo. Two-time defending men’s gold-medal singles champion Andy Murray, the only player to capture singles gold medals in successive Olympics, will represent Great Britain in his quest for a third gold medal.
Roger Federer, who won a gold medal in doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008, is officially competing for Switzerland. Federer however did indicate that he might still reconsider travelling to Tokyo before the event starts.
“I mean, with the team we decided we’re going to reassess the situation after Wimbledon because it’s going to have an impact on my— obviously if I play really good here or really bad, I think it has an impact on how everything might look for in the summer,” Federer told the media in his pre-tournament presser at Wimbledon. “Still my feeling is I would like to go to the Olympics. I would like to play as many tournaments as possible. But I think we decided now let’s just get through Wimbledon, sit down as a team, and then decide where we go from there.”
If the 39-year-old Federer does compete, he would become the oldest Olympic singles player since Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman.
The Tokyo Olympics will implement strict quarantine measures and a “bubble” inside the players’ village along with restricting the number of people a player can bring with them. Those measures made many players choose not to compete, despite having qualified to do so.
Other factors include a player’s health, personal factors, travel time, and that the Olympics adds another event into the crowded hard court swing were also decisive for some players to opt-out of the competition.
Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem are just some of the top players choosing not to compete this year. Monica Puig, the surprise women’s singles gold medalist from 2016 will not play due to recent shoulder surgery.
Naomi Osaka, who will represent Japan, will compete despite having recently chosen not to play Wimbledon. Andy Murray, who won men’s singles gold in 2012 and 2016, will compete again for Great Britain.
— USTA (@usta) July 1, 2021
For the United States, the team will consist of Jennifer Brady, Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Alison Riske, Nicole Melichar, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren, Marcos Giron, Rajeev Ram, and Austin Krajicek.
Seventeen-year-old Gauff will be the youngest tennis player to compete at the Summer Games since 2000 and the second youngest U.S. player since Jennifer Capriati won the gold medal in singles in Barcelona in 1992.