Schedule, history, withdrawals: 10 questions about 2020 Tokyo Olympics tennis

Everything you could possibly need to know about the tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics – scheduled to take place in July 2021

16 July 2021
Federer, Murray et del Potro sur le podium olympique de 2012

When will the tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics be held?

The tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics takes place from July 24, 2021 to August 1, 2021.

The schedule of the event can be found on the Tokyo 2020 website here

Where will the tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics be held?

The tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics is being held at the Ariake Tennis Park, which is one of the main tennis facilities in the country. The capacity of the stadium is 19,900 spectators.

Will fans be in attendance at the Tokyo Olympics?

There will be no fans in attendance at the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus restrictions in Japan.

What is the draw size and format of the tennis competition at the Olympics?

The tennis events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be based on a traditional knock-out format. The men’s and women’s singles features draws of 64 players, whereas the men’s and women’s doubles will feature 32 teams, and the mixed doubles will feature 16 teams. The draw will be held on July 22, at 11am (UK time).

What surface is being used for the tennis events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games?

The 2020 Tokyo Games will be played on hard courts (DecoTurf). This marks the fifth time that the tennis event at the Olympic Games will be played on hard courts.

Why did the Tokyo Olympics not happen in 2020?

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided not to host the Olympic Games in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was the first time in the history of the Olympics that the Games have been postponed and rescheduled instead of the Olympic Games.

Who are the defending champions?

Great Britain’s Andy Murray had won the men’s singles gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics while Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig had claimed the women’s singles gold medal.

The men’s doubles gold was won by the Spanish team of Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal, while the Russian pairing of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the women’s doubles gold medal. The mixed doubles gold medal was won by the American team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock.

Who won the gold medal at previous Olympic editions?

In the pre-Open era, tennis had been part of the Summer Olympics from the 1896 Games, but later was dropped after the 1924 Games. Although it was played as a demonstration sport at the 1968 and 1984 Olympic Games, the sport has been a full medal sport since the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.

1988 Seoul Olympics

Men’s Singles – Miloslav Mecir; Women’s Singles – Steffi Graf; Men’s Doubles – Ken Flach; Robert Seguso; Women’s Doubles – Pam Shriver; Zina Garrison

1992 – Barcelona Olympics

Men’s Singles – Marc Rosset; Women’s Singles – Jennifer Capriati; Men’s Doubles – Boris Becker, Michael Stich; Women’s Doubles – Gigi Fernandez, Mary Joe Fernandez

1996 – Atlanta Olympics

Men’s Singles – Andre Agassi, Women’s Singles – Lindsay Davenport, Men’s Doubles – Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde, Women’s Doubles – Gigi Fernandez, Mary Joe Fernández

2000 – Sydney Olympics

Men’s Singles – Yevgeny Kafelnikov; Women’s Singles – Venus Williams, Men’s Doubles – Sebastien Lareau, Daniel Nestor, Women’s Doubles – Venus Williams, Serena Williams

2004 – Athens Olympics

Men’s Singles – Nicolas Massu; Women’s Singles – Justine Henin, Men’s Doubles – Fernando González, Nicolas Massu, Women’s Doubles – Li Ting, Sun Tiantian

2008 – Beijing Olympics

Men’s Singles – Rafael Nadal, Women’s Singles – Elena Dementieva; Men’s Doubles – Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka; Women’s Doubles – Serena Williams, Venus Williams

Serena Williams London Olympics
Serena et Venus Williams (USA)

2012 – London Olympics

Men’s Singles – Andy Murray, Women’s Singles – Serena Williams, Men’s Doubles – Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Women’s Doubles – Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Mixed doubles – Victoria Azarenka, Max Mirnyi

Serena Williams and Venus Williams hold the record for winning four Olympic gold medals. Kathleen McKane Godfree (one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes) and Venus Williams (four gold, one silver) are the all-time record holders for the most Olympic medals in tennis. 

Which players have withdrawn from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Several top players on the men’s and women’s side have withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics, either due to health reasons or scheduling related challenges. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Stan Wawrinka on the men’s side, as well as Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Serena Williams and Coco Gauff on the women’s side, will not be at the Tokyo Games.

Why is the Tokyo Olympics significant for tennis fans?

The Olympic Games hold more significance for tennis fans this time around since world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who is currently on the entry list, is gunning for the Golden Slam (winning all the four Grand Slams and the Olympic singles gold medal in the same year). The feat has only been achieved once before in the history of the sport – by German legend Steffi Graf in 1988.

Steffi Graf, 1988 Olympics gold-medalist
Steffi Graf, 1988 Olympics gold-medalist
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