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Paris Olympics: What to know, who to watch during the tennis competition

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A roadmap to follow for the tennis competition at the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

— Rafael Nadal, Spain: He already owns gold medals in singles (2008) and doubles (2016 with Marc López), to go alongside his 22 Grand Slam titles, and he is dominant on red clay, but is nearing the end of his career.

— Iga Swiatek, Poland: The dominant figure in women’s tennis since 2022, with four of her five Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros — the latest coming this June — bowed out in the second round at the Tokyo Olympics.

— Novak Djokovic, Serbia: Winner of a men’s-record 24 Grand Slam singles trophies but hoping to claim an Olympic gold medal for the first time (he earned a bronze in 2008).

— Coco Gauff, United States: She made the U.S. OIympic team for Tokyo at age 17 but was a late withdrawal after testing positive for COVID-19.

Storylines to Follow

— The same courts used for the French Open each year — usually from late May to early June — will host tennis at these Olympics, so it’s a surface and site familiar to the athletes.

— No one has had more success at Court Philippe Chatrier than Nadal, whose 14 championships at the French Open are the most for a man or woman at any major tennis tournament. But he has been dealing with hip and abdominal injuries that limited him to four matches in all of 2023 and just 12 matches through the first five months of this year. He lost in the first round of the French Open. Might he bid adieu in Paris?

— Will players such as Djokovic, Swiatek, Gauff or Naomi Osaka (Japan) — who’s never been a fan of clay — earn a first Olympic gold? Or will someone without a Grand Slam title come through, the way Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) and Alexander Zverev (Germany) did at Tokyo three years ago?

Key Dates

— First-round matches begin July 27.

— Gold medals start being awarded Aug. 2, with mixed doubles. The golds for women’s singles and men’s doubles will be determined Aug. 3. The golds for men’s singles and women’s doubles will be won on Aug. 4.

Reigning Champions

— Women’s Singles: Belinda Bencic, Switzerland

— Women’s Doubles: Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, Czech Republic

— Men’s Singles: Alexander Zverev, Germany

— Men’s Doubles: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, Croatia

— Mixed Doubles: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev, Russian Olympic Committee


AP Summer Olympics:

By The Associated Press


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