The 2020 Olympics are still a while away. At the end of July the top men and women will head to Tokyo to compete for their country but there are some rules which could cause qualification to be tricky and some issues to overcome.
Russia could be expelled from the 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup by WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) following ‘inconsistencies’ in lab data and a decision is expected before the end of October.
This could effect tennis quite a bit as players will not be allowed to compete if Russia are banned. Medvedev, Sharapova, Kasatkina, Rublev, Khachanov and Pavlyuchenkova are just some of the players who could lose their place.
You can read more on this here from The Telegraph;
Now to the rules…
- For the singles event the top 56 players in the ATP & WTA rankings on June 8th 2020 are qualified for the Olympics, however entry in this top 56 has been capped at no more than 4 for each country.
- If you are in the top 56 but outside of your countries top 4 players you will not qualify for the singles event at the Olympics. For example, USA as of 5th October 2019 have a top 4 of Serena, Sloane, Keys and Kenin. Alison Riske, Amanda Anisimova, Venus Williams, Danielle Collins and Jennifer Brady who are in that top 56 bracket would miss out.
- This ruling means that players ranked outside the top 56 can qualify only if their country hasn’t filled their 4 quota in the top 56.
- A player can only participate if they made themselves available to be drafted to represent their country in the Davis Cup or Fed Cup for two of the following years. 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. One of those years must be 2019 or 2020. The rule states to be ‘drafted’ they do not have to play a match. Federer for example would need to play for Switzerland in Aprils qualifier to qualify for the Olympics.
- Each National Olympic Committee (Country) can enter 6 male and 6 female players with a maximum of four entries in each singles event and two pairs in the doubles event.
- In men’s and women’s doubles, 32 teams will qualify.
- 10 places are reserved for the players in the top 10 of the doubles ranking. This player can then selected any player from their country ranked in the top 300 (as of June 8th 202) to partner them.
- Slots will then be allocated to countries based on a combined ranking until 24 teams have qualified.
- Remaining teams will be allocated based on the combined ranking of the qualified singles players.
No quota is set up for mixed doubles. All teams are consistent of players already qualified in singles or doubles event. The top 15 combined ranking teams and the host nation (Japan) will qualify.
Some news already from the Olympics…
Dominic Thiem will not be taking part. Instead he will be at the ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel back at home to defend his title setting his sights on 2024 in Paris which will likely be at Roland Garros.
Roger Federer as mentioned will have to be available for Switzerland’s match in early March against Peru which will be in Peru.
Similar boat for Serena Williams and a few top 56 ranked players hoping to play Tokyo.
There is an appeal process and usually players do win but it’s best to be safe than sorry.
Participation in Madrid finals in November would secure a spot for Murray, Nadal and Djokovic.
Of course, that news regarding Russia is one we wait for as well.