Monday, October 14, 2019

Roger Federer will play in the Tokyo Olympics next year

Roger Federer has confirmed plans to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as he chases an elusive gold medal in singles. Federer, 38, missed Rio 2016 through injury and had been indecisive over whether he should travel to Japan next year to represent Switzerland. The Tokyo Games will commence less than a fortnight after Wimbledon concludes and before the world’s elite head to the USA for the summer hard court season.

And Federer – who has won a gold medal in doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka but has failed to win singles gold – will slot a trip to Japan for the Olympics in between playing at Wimbledon and the US Open. ‘I’ve been debating with my team for a few weeks now or a month, what I should do in the summertime after Wimbledon in terms of also before the US Open and at the end of the day my heart decided I would love to play the Olympic Games again,’ said Federer after playing an exhibition against John Isner in Tokyo on Monday.

‘I carried the flag twice for Switzerland in Athens and Beijing as well, I got a gold and a silver so I’d love to play again, I’m very excited.’Federer, who won silver at London 2012 after defeat to Andy Murray in the final, has not technically fulfilled the criteria to represent his country at the Games. He has not competed for Switzerland in the Davis Cup during the current Olympic cycle, which would normally make a player ineligible for competition. However, International Tennis

Federation chief David Haggerty has made clear in the past that exceptions can be made by the International Oympics Committee (IOC) and it’s unlikely anyone would stand in the way of the 20-time Grand Slam champion taking part.

Winning a first singles gold will be no straightforward task for Federer, particularly with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic – who is also yet to triumph at the Olympics – making no secret of his desire to add a gold medal to his collection. Djokovic left Rio in tears after a first round defeat to Juan Martin del Potro three years ago but travelled to the Tokyo Open for the first time a matter of weeks ago in order to get used to the conditions for next summer. Two-time champion Murray and 2008 winner Rafael Nadal are also expected to travel to Japan to challenge for gold.

Are we all surprised?. I would have been more shocked if he decided not to.

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