Naomi Osaka has the hopes of the entire host nation resting on her. Novak Djokovic is attempting to accomplish something that no man has done before in tennis. Both players are after something special at the Tokyo Olympics and both produced convincing victories to reach the last 16 at Ariake Tennis Park. Osaka crushed winners off both wings seemingly at will in a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 49th-ranked Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland. Then Djokovic dispatched 48th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-4, 6-3. Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to win a Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in the same calendar year.
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French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova grasped for an air tube during a medical timeout and grew frustrated at the lack of ice in a court-side container. Mona Barthel struggled with 10 double-faults in a loss to Iga Swiatek as a searing sun made it nearly impossible to see the ball once she tossed it. Heat and humidity quickly became a major issue when the Olympic tennis tournament opened. The temperature soared to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius) and the heat index made it feel like more than 100 F (38 C).
Naomi Osaka will face 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China and Novak Djokovic will play 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia in the opening round of the Olympic tennis tournament. Draws were held two days before play opens at Ariake Tennis Park. Osaka is returning to competition after she withdrew from the French Open following the first round to take a mental health break. Two-time defending Olympic champion Andy Murray received a tough opening-round draw against 15th-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova has triumphed at the Prague Open for her third WTA title. In an all-Czech final, second-seeded Krejcikova demolished No. 8-seeded Tereza Martincova 6-2, 6-0, hitting 26 winners on her way to victory in 65 minutes. From 2-2 in the opening set, Krejcikova cruised, winning 10 straight games against her opponent who was playing her first WTA final. Krejcikova didn’t lose a set at the hard-court tournament that she used as a warm-up for the Tokyo Olympics. She won her three titles, including Strasbourg and Roland Garros, in her last four tournaments, winning 20 of her last 21 games.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova has advanced to the final of the Prague Open by beating Xinyu Wang of China 6-1, 6-2. The second-seeded Krejcikova set up an all-Czech final against eight-seeded Tereza Martincova who defeated ninth-seeded Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal. It will be Martincova’s maiden WTA final. Krejcikova will be seeking her third WTA title in her fifth final after this year’s triumphs at Strasbourg and Roland Garros. She is using the hard-court tournament as a warm-up for the Tokyo Olympics.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova has eased past doubles partner and fifth-seeded Katerina Siniakova at the Prague Open. The second-seeded Krejcikova won an all-Czech quarterfinal 6-3, 6-0. She next faces China’s Xinyu Wang, who beat Grace Min of the United States 6-3, 6-3. The eighth-seeded Tereza Martincova beat Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-2. Ninth-seeded Greet Minnen of Belgium beat Australia’s Storm Sanders 6-2, 6-1.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova has advanced to the second round of the Prague Open by beating qualifier Isabella Shinikova 6-2, 6-3. The second-seeded Krejcikova is warming up for the Tokyo Olympics at this hard-court tournament in her home country. She will next face unseeded Ysaline Bonaventure after the Belgian eliminated Naiktha Bains 6-3, 6-2. Third-seeded Marketa Vondrousova has withdrawn from the tournament due to a leg injury. Unseeded Storm Sanders of Australia came back to upset fourth-seeded Czech Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 while fifth-seeded Czech Katerina Siniakova beat Jodie Burrage Britain 6-0, 6-4.
FILE - In this May 30, 2021, file photo, Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating Romania's Patricia Maria Tig during a first-round match of the French Ppen tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Osaka returned to the spotlight for the first time since withdrawing from the French Open in May and skipping Wimbledon, posing on the red carpet at The ESPYS on Saturday night, July 10. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
Naomi Osaka says former first lady Michelle Obama and sports stars Novak Djokovic, Michael Phelps and Stephen Curry were among those who reached out to offer support after she withdrew from the French Open to take a mental health break. In an essay in Time magazine’s Olympic preview issue, Osaka writes that she hopes measures can be enacted to “protect athletes, especially the fragile ones." Osaka suggests athletes should be allowed to sometimes skip media obligations without punishment. She is expected to return to competition at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.
The Associated Press has learned that teenager Coco Gauff and Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady will lead the U.S. Olympic tennis team at the Tokyo Games. None of the country's four highest-ranked men or two top women are on the roster obtained by the AP ahead of the official announcement. The other women who will play singles are Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske. Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron are signed up for men’s singles. Among the players missing are Serena and Venus Williams and the top four U.S. men in the rankings: Reilly Opelka, John Isner, Taylor Fritz and Sebastian Korda. Korda passed up joining golf star sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda in Tokyo.