The world’s highest ranked male tennis player Novak Djokovic has confirmed his participation in the Tokyo Olympics and joined Japanese star Naomi Osaka among the big draws at the Games.
However, there were also a number of withdrawals from this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
All venues for the Olympics, which begin July 23, will be closed to spectators as Japanese authorities seek to limit the risks of Covid-19. Foreign visitors were banned, as were family members of invited athletes.
These restrictions, along with the tightness expected this year, were one of the reasons why a number of top tennis players in the women’s and men’s draws withdrew from the Tokyo Games.
Here’s a look at the tennis players who pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics:
Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Angélique Kerber, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Coco Gauff.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stanislas Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Denis Shapovalov, Nick Kyrgios, David Goffin, Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Dan Evans, Alex de Minaur, Matteo Berrettini.
“Actually, I’m not on the Olympic list, so… Not to my knowledge. If so, I shouldn’t be on it. There are a lot of reasons why I made my Olympic decision. I don’t want to go into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry. I didn’t think about it (miss the Games). In the past it was a wonderful place for me. I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to continue not to think about it.
“During the grass season I unfortunately suffered a setback with my knee and accepted that I had to retire from the Tokyo Olympics. I have already started rehab in hopes of returning to touring later this summer. I wish the whole Swiss team good luck and I will support the team hard from afar.
“Hello everyone, I have decided not to participate in this year’s championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It is never an easy decision to make but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team, I understand that it is the right decision. The goal is to extend my career and keep doing what makes me happy, which is to compete at the highest level and to keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the highest level of competition. . The fact that there were only 2 weeks between RG and Wimbledon did not facilitate the recovery of my body after the always demanding season on clay. It has been two months of great effort and the decision I am making focuses on the medium and long term. Sports prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in trying to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles. I want to send a special message to my fans all over the world, to those in the UK and Japan in particular. “
“Hello everyone, I have some sad news to share with all of you. After discussing with my team and analyzing the situation, I made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics. For me, like everyone athletes, competing in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honor and that makes this decision even more difficult. However, 2021 has not started as planned and I do not feel ready to play my best in Tokyo. My goal is to work hard in the coming weeks, do my best at Wimbledon, continue to train and hopefully defend my title at the US Open.
“The idea of competing in the Olympics has been a constant motivation for me over the past few months. London 2012 and Rio 2016 in the German team have always been one of my favorite memories. It’s even more disappointing for me to accept the fact that my body needs rest after the intense few weeks ahead of me and that I need to recover first before resuming competition later this summer!
“I want to let everyone know that I made the very difficult decision not to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. I have many amazing memories of winning the gold medal by participating and representing Belarus at the Games. But with all the challenges we face in regards to the pandemic, I know in my heart that this is the right decision for me and the team. I can’t wait to return to the 2024 Olympics in Paris to represent Belarus.
“Nothing brings me more pride than representing Romania, but unfortunately it takes more time to recover from my calf injury and I have made the decision to withdraw from the Olympics this summer. After the disappointment of missing Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Having to skip the Olympics is incredibly hard to digest, but I’m determined to come back stronger. I will watch and cheer on Romanian athletes from home.
“The idea of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t suit me. He never did. I wouldn’t want to take the opportunity of a healthy Australian athlete ready to represent the country. It was my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics and I know I might never get this opportunity again, but I know myself too.
“Hi everyone, after much thought I wanted to let you know that I will not be competing in the Olympics this year. Representing Canada means the world to me, but due to the current situation, my team and I decided it was the best decision for everyone’s safety.
Statement from his management team: “He is very disappointed not to be able to participate in the Games and represent Switzerland in Tokyo. But he’s working hard on his recovery and toward his goal of getting back on the pitch as soon as possible. “
Update: Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini was the last big name to be forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics as he cited muscle tension, as the Italian Olympic Committee confirmed on Sunday.
World number eight Berrettini was injured in London where he became the first Italian to reach a singles final at Wimbledon, losing in four sets to Djokovic.
Berrettini was forced “to give up his participation in the Olympic Games, due to the after-effects of a muscle injury, an unfortunate legacy of his historic achievement at Wimbledon,” CONI said.
The 25-year-old was the backbone of an Italian side made up of Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Lorenzo Musetti on the men and Sara Errani, Jasmine Paolini and Camila Giorgi on the women.
I am extremely disappointed to announce my withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics.
I had an MRI yesterday on the thigh injury I sustained at Wimbledon and was told I would not be able to compete for a few weeks. Representing Italy is the greatest honor for me, so it’s devastating to miss the Olympics. I wish the whole Italian team good luck in Tokyo. I will support you until the end.
I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and will not be able to play at the Tokyo Olympics. It has always been a dream for me to represent the United States at the Olympics and I hope there will be a lot more chance for me to achieve that in the future. I want to wish TEAM USA good luck and safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family, ”Gauff tweeted.