Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty has confirmed that she will participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next month, to lead the tennis team of 11 players, including “troublemaker” Nick Kyrgios.
Barty’s announcement comes a day after American veteran Serena Williams, crowned four Olympic gold medals, decided not to participate in the global event, which is also absent from Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Barty, the 2019 title holder at Roland Garros, revealed that she will be participating in the singles and doubles categories, stressing, “I can’t wait to be part of the event.”
And the 25-year-old continued: Competing in the Olympics is a dream that children have aspired to since childhood.
The Australian team consists of 6 male players and 5 female players, including 2011 US Open champion Sam Stoser, who will be participating in the Olympic Games for the fifth time at the age of 37.
The world’s 15th-ranked Alex de Minaur will be the team’s top-ranked men, and the controversial Kyrgios is also expected to be one of the top players in the draw despite being ranked 60th in the world.
Both will compete in singles, while De Minaur will also participate in doubles. Unlike the veteran Stoser, Kyrgios, Barty and de Minaur will compete for the first time in the Olympic Games, which start on July 23.
“It’s great to represent your country at the Olympic Games, it’s enough if that happened five times,” said Stoeser, who participated in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Euro 2016.
Ajla Tomljanovic will also compete in singles, while Barty competes alongside Storm Sanders in the women’s doubles, and Toser with Elaine Perez.
John Millman and James Duckworth will join Kyrgios and de Minaur, who won the Eastbourne Championships last week in singles.