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Ash Barty picks up Australian tennis team for Tokyo Olympics

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Image source: AP

Australia’s Ashley Barty serves China’s Saisai Zheng in the women’s singles match on the second day of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, this Tuesday, July 2.

The highest-ranked Ash Barty heads the 11-member Australian tennis team at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Australian team was announced on Tuesday, hours before the planned match of Barty’s first round at Wimbledon against Carla Suarez Navarro.

Former US Open champion Sam Stosur was selected to play singles and doubles in his fifth Olympics, while Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur and John Millman were among the men selected for the Australian team.

“I think your first Olympic team, especially as an Australian, has such a rich history and the Olympics are something I’ve always dreamed of and I’m obviously super excited to go out there and represent the greens and the gold,” Barty said in a statement. “It’s a massive team and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Some of the most famous players in the sport will not compete in the Games in Tokyo, where severe restrictions will be imposed on athletes and foreign fans are banned. Serena Williams has announced that she will not participate in the team for the American team.

The men, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, also said they would miss the trip to Japan, where the Olympic Games open on July 23. Roger Federer retained his decision until the end of his Wimbledon campaign.

Last year, the Olympics were postponed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Barty won the French Open and the final season of the WTA finals in 2019, but missed most of the 2020 season after his semi-final loss to the Australian Open to stay at home during the pandemic.

She returned in time for the Australian Open in 2021, lost in the quarterfinals, and then withdrew from her match of the second round of the French Open due to an injured left thigh.

In Tokyo, she plans to play singles and partner with Storm Sanders in the doubles competition.

“Every opportunity you have to wear green and gold, I wanted to grab it with both hands,” she said. “I’m fit, I’m healthy, I’m excited to play doubles with Storm, she’s been my childhood friend and we’ve played a lot together. So being able to live that dream with her is really, really special.”

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