How Do Tennis Players Qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Published 07/21/2021, 3:48 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis Training – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 20, 2021 Andy Murray of Britain during training REUTERS/Edgar Su

The much-awaited tennis event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is all set to begin on Saturday, the 24th of July. The nine-day event promises some enthralling battles as the best players from all around the world go for gold. However, even just representing their country is a matter of great honor for all.


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Players have to perform at their all-time best, throughout the season, to qualify for the Olympic Games. Their notable performance in major Grand Slam competitions affects their ranking by the WTA and ATP, furthermore affecting their chances to qualify. However, apart from their rank, there are several other criteria that the players need to meet before heading to Tokyo.


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How do tennis players qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

The WTA and ATP ranking plays a major role in Olympic qualification for a player. Hence, all eyes had been on the day after the Roland Garros, as the official rankings were announced. The top 56 ranked players receive a direct qualification. However, only four single players are allowed per nation.

Players are qualified based on their performance at the Pan American Games, the Asian Games, and the African Games.

One spot is also available for a player who has previously won a gold medal or is a Slam champion but hasn’t qualified through ranking. Similarly, a representative from the host nation is also allotted a spot, provided he or she is the highest-ranked athlete in the country.

There are certain criteria that all tennis players competing at the Tokyo Olympics have to meet. These criteria are based on several key factors.

First, players need to be in good standing with their National Association and International Tennis Federation. Apart from that, on several occasions, they also need to have represented their nation in the Davis cup or the Billie Jean cup.

Age is another important factor taken into consideration, as players only above the age of 14 for men and 15 for women are eligible to take part in the Summer Olympic Games.

However, if any player fails to meet the desired criteria, he or she can lodge an appeal with the ITF Olympic Committee.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis Training – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 19, 2021 Naomi Osaka of Japan during training REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Watch this story: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Others Winning Medals of Glory at Olympic Games


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Criteria are different for doubles

The criteria for entry into the doubles category differ from those for singles. A total of 32 teams take part in the event, with only 2 teams allowed per nation. 31 teams get a direct qualification, based on their ranking; the host nation gets the remaining one spot.

Players ranked in the ATP and WTA doubles top 10 get an entry into the event. It is important to note that athletes with different nationalities cannot team up. A player needs to be in the top 300 rankings, in either singles or doubles, to be eligible to partner up. Notably, a country can only elect 6 players for each of the men’s and women’s events.


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Melroy Fernandes

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Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.