Did you know that how far athletes advance in each tennis tournament over the first five months of 2020 will impact who we see compete at the Olympic Games this summer?
If not, read on for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Olympic qualification process for tennis at Tokyo 2020.
When will we know which tennis players are qualified for Tokyo 2020?
The ATP and WTA rankings on June 8, 2020 will determine most of the entries for the men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws at the Olympic Games. This will be on the Monday immediately following the French Open.
How many tennis players can Canada qualify for Tokyo 2020?
The maximum team size for each NOC is six men and six women. Within that, there is a maximum of four entries per NOC in each singles event and two teams in each doubles event.
How many tennis players will qualify for Tokyo 2020?
The overall maximum quota for the Games is 86 men and 86 women.
The men’s and women’s singles draws will each include 64 athletes.
Of these, 56 will qualify based directly on their ATP or WTA singles ranking. Because of the maximum quota for each NOC, an athlete could be ranked outside of the top 56 and still qualify for the Olympic Games if other countries have too many highly ranked players.
Six of the remaining spots ensure representation from all continents, such as the first- and second-place finishers from the 2019 Pan American Games. One is held for an Olympic gold medallist or Grand Slam champion who was unable to qualify directly but is still ranked in the top 300. The final spot is reserved for the host country, if they do not have a direct qualifier.
The men’s and women’s doubles draws will each begin with 32 teams.
Athletes who are ranked in the top 10 of the ATP or WTA doubles rankings will qualify directly. They can play alongside any athlete from their home country, if that partner is ranked in the top 300 of either the singles or doubles rankings.
A combined ranking of teams will be used to fill out the doubles fields, with one spot reserved for the host country.
Mixed doubles will have 16 teams in its draw, but these teams will all be comprised of athletes who have qualified for Tokyo 2020 through the men’s and women’s singles and/or doubles events. Entries will be based on the combined ranking of each team once everyone is on-site.
How do tennis rankings work?
Updated every Monday, the ATP and WTA rankings are calculated using a player’s results from the preceding 52 weeks. So the rankings that will determine Olympic qualification will date back one year from the close date on June 8, 2020.
Grand Slams have the most points available, with the number of points available at other tournaments dependent on their assigned level. You will see men’s tournaments labelled as ATP Masters 1000, ATP 500 and ATP 250, for instance, while some of the categories for women’s tournaments include Premier Mandatory, Premier 5 and Premier, in order of prominence.