Tokyo Olympics: Tennis Hampered by Top Players Withdrawals

HARARE, (SATSports) – The Tokyo Olympic Games have been hampered by the withdrawal of many top ranked and popular players.

In an issue that was raised towards the 2016 Rio Olympics, some tennis players tend to choose ATP and WTA tournaments over the summer games as they don not offer ranking points like normal tournaments.

The unavailability of points does not really serve lower ranked players, who could lose rankings over the course of the games meanwhile higher ranked players could represent their countries and not lose a chunk of points and ranking.

For this year’s games, a total of 17 top 25 players on the WTA and ATP tours withdrew, most because of injuries, or as a safety measure against covid and some for personal reasons, amounting to 11 players on the men’s and 6 on the women’s side.

Two time Olympic gold medalist Rafael Nadal withdrew from both Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics after his loss to Djokovic at the French Open and looks to restart his season in Washington D.C. instead of the games.

2008 doubles champion and 2012 silver medalist Roger Federer also withdrew from the games, stating that he suffered a knee injury and is in rehabilitation.

Other top ten absentees include Dominic Thiem, MetteoBerrettini, and Denis Shapovalov. Alex de Minaur, Casper Ruud, Cristian Garin, David Goffin,  Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Jannik Sinner and Dan Evans are also set to miss the games on the men’s draw.

The women’s roster has also seen it’s fair share of withdrawals from top players, with world number 3 and two time grand slam champion Simona Halep, who’s recovering from a calf injury opting to miss the summer games.

Four time Olympic gold medal winner Serena Williams also decided to skip this year’s games along with fellow Americans, Coco Gauff, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin. Others include Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka.

All this could hurt the viewership of the tennis game in Tokyo as fan favorites but fans could still enjoy high level tennis from other players who will put on their countries’ badges and go into battle for glory. 

The Tokyo Olympic games start on the 23rd of July 2021.

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