With the changes in the format of Grand Slam tennis which has put an end to the marathon matches at Wimbledon and Australian Open, the major event of the sporting fraternity, the Olympics has also compressed their tennis matches. This week, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced a revised pattern of tennis play during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The men’s tennis singles final at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been abridged to a best-of-three from best-of-five sets. Winning a gold medal at the Olympics is equivalent to achieving a Grand Slam title. However, with the amended structure at the Olympics, has put its glory in parallel with the ATP World Tour Finals title. Tennis rejoined the Olympic network after a time span of sixty years in 1988 and since then best-of-five sets were played. With the fast-paced world, even the tradition of tennis is shrinking.
The ‘fifth Grand Slam’ of tennis, the Olympics doesn’t provide any ranking points to the top players who are competing in the event. The governing body of tennis, ITF is independent of the ATP and WTA hence the allotment of the ranking points to the players is not directly at the helm of ITF. “Currently, the WTA and ATP do not award points for the Olympic Qualification Pathway. We (the ITF) are always open to discussion on the matter,” ITF addressed to the Ubitennis.
Also, the threshold for the players to participate in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is presently under a squabble. Usually, the player’s involvement with the Fed or Davis Cup events is analyzed when they are chosen to represent their nation at the Olympics. To qualify for Olympics the player must play three ties during an Olympic cycle. However, it has been cut down to two which depends on the round robin criteria as mentioned in the eligibility rule.
However, the ITF has not issued a binary solution to this subject. “National Olympic Committees wishing to nominate a player who has not yet met the minimum requirement has the right to appeal. Each case is specific, but will be considered based on a combination of factors, such as the depth of the player field available to play for their country, injuries, history and Davis Cup / Fed Cup / Olympic competition record,” ITF said.