Garbine Muguruza is looking for Olympic glory in Tokyo in what will be her second Olympic Games.
Having left Rio De Janeiro unsuccessful five years ago, the two-time grand slam champion is looking to get revenge and take an Olympic medal away from Japan.
The Spaniard will be competing in singles and in Women’s Doubles with good friend Carla Suarez Navarro, who will compete in her last Olympics.
Speaking to tennishead, Muguruza now is looking forward to competing at the Olympics in what is a unique event, “It’s really different living in the Olympic village with the rest of the Spanish team and it took me a couple of days to get used to it, but it’s great precisely because it’s different,” the former Wimbledon admitted.
“It’s every four years, in this case five, and it’s like a gift to go back to the Games. I enjoyed it, but Rio was my first Olympic experience and it was tough, but now I know how things are and I’m motivated and am very excited.”
Although some players don’t see the Olympics as the pinnacle of tennis, Muguruza believes that it is the highest achievement you can win.
“The greatest possible success – a medal is something unique in sport, I would love to have it. Also, you want to win a medal for your country, so you are no longer an individual. If I lose there, I lose with my team.”
The world number nine will look to take advantage of a depleted Women’s field with the likes of Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams all missing.
However Muguruza along with the rest of the field will still look to topple the two favourites in Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka in order to take away a singles medal.
The tennis event in Tokyo gets underway on Saturday and will conclude on Sunday 1st of August.
PREVIEW: Vasek Pospisil Looking To Lead Canada At Davis Cup Finals
The Canadian will look to lead his team one step further after reaching the final in Madrid back in 2019.
It’s not an ideal situation when two of your best players decide not to play and represent their country but that is what has happened to Canada with both Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.
Both players citing the need for rest after a long and taxing season that literally gives them less than two months to rest and recuperate before the off-season preparations and a trip down under for the Australian tennis season.
Pospisil leads a team with Brayden Schnur, Peter Polansky and replacement Steven Diez. While on paper all players are ranked outside the top 100 Canada still has good chances of getting past the group stage.
In their way are Sweden and Kazakhstan. They will open their tournament on Thursday in Madrid against the Swedes before facing the Kazaks on Sunday morning at the Madrid Arena.
Once again two wins will be needed and it will be a busy week for Pospisil who will be called upon to play singles and doubles, which has been confirmed by team captain Frank Dancevic.
The million-dollar question is who will be Canada’s number two singles player and who will play with the Vernon, BC native? Dancevic is yet to confirm this.
Schnur was an alternate player on the team last time, Polansky wasn’t even called upon and it’s been 10 years since Diez even represented his country so the experience isn’t there.
But then again anything can happen in Davis Cup and looking at the other teams Sweden will use Elias and Mikael Ymer while Kazakhstan will rely on the highest-ranked player in the group Alexander Bublik with teammate Mikhael Kukushin.
It’s all to play for in the Spanish capital and Canada is coming off an incredible run in 2019 which ended up in them losing to Spain in the final where they were able to show the world they are here to play.
Canada suffers massive blow as Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime pull out of Davis Cup
The two tennis stars cited fatigue and injury as the reason why they have chosen not to play in the team event.
Canada will be without its top two players as they head to Madrid for the Davis Cup Finals.
After losing in the Stockholm Open final at the weekend, Denis Shapovalov made it official that he was pulling out of the Davis Cup Finals citing he needed to rest and take time off.
“Unfortunately, I will not take part in the Davis Cup Finals,” Shapovalov said in a statement. “It’s always a pleasure and an honor for me to represent my country in the Davis Cup, but I need some rest in the offseason.”
Shortly after Felix Auger Aliassime also released a statement confirming that he was pulling out as well due to a nagging injury and also stated he needed some time off as well.
So far Canada has only called up Steven Diez as a replacement for the team that currently has Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky, and Brayden Schnur. It is a massive blow for a team that looked like a heavy favorite.
Team captain Frank Dancevic also commentated on the situation by saying he understands why both players have decided not to play.
“We know that Félix and Denis have always made the Davis Cup one of their top priorities since the beginning of their professional careers, and even before that since they had won the Junior Davis Cup for Canada in 2015,” said Dancevic. “But it’s been a long and even more trying season due to the protocols and measures put in place to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and we completely understand their decision.’
“We know that we can count on Félix and Denis’ support and leadership in the years to come. That said, we are delighted to have Steven (Diez) join us for the Finals. Although Steven doesn’t have much Davis Cup experience, he has proven time and time again that he’s an incredible team player and that he’s able to adapt to various situations.”
Diez, who is 30 years old, has only played Davis Cup once before which was 11 years ago back in 2010 in a Group 1 semi-final tie against Columbia. His career-high ranking was 134 in 2019 and his best result was making the final of an ATP Challenger event in Spain.
The Davis Cup Finals will be held in Madrid, Innsbruck, and Turin beginning on the 25th of November. Canada will be based in Madrid in a group with Sweden and Kazakhstan.
Canada faces Sweden on the 25th and Kazakhstan on the 28th of November. The last time around made the final back in 2019 before losing to Spain.
Great Britain Handed Tough Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers Draw Against Czech Republic
Great Britain have a tough test in the Czech Republic in the BJK Cup qualifiers in April.
Great Britain will need to beat the Czech Republic away if they want to qualify for next year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals after the draw was made today.
Anne Keothavong’s team beat Mexico earlier in the year to earn a place in the qualifiers next year.
However in today’s draw, Great Britain will need to overcome a huge test as they will go to the Czech Republic next April.
Czech Republic have won six of the last nine Billie Jean King Cups and boast the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Krejcikova, Marketa Vondrousova, Katarina Siniakova and Petra Kvitova.
Speaking after the draw Keothavong is looking forward to the test that awaits them in April, “The team are really looking forward to taking on Czech Republic in our 2022 qualifier and hopefully continuing our momentum in the Billie Jean King Cup next year,” she told skysports.com.
The Czechs are currently hosting this year’s finals and fell at the semi-final stage after losing a tight match to Switzerland.
Other key matches sees a repeat of this year’s group stage match between Belgium and Belarus while USA will host Elina Svitolina’s Ukraine team.
Here are the ties with the qualifiers taking place on the 15-16th of April next year with the finals happening next November:
Czech Republic v Great Britain
Australia v Slovakia
France v Italy
USA v Ukraine
Belarus v Belgium
Germany v Kazakhstan
Canada v Latvia
Spain v Netherlands
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