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Tokyo Olympics: Sumit Nagal to Face Denis Istomin, Sania Mirza-Ankita Raina Take On Kichenok Twins in 1st Round

Sania Mirza (R) and Ankita Raina will play women's doubles at the Tokyo Olympics. (Raina Instagram Photo)

Sania Mirza (R) and Ankita Raina will play women's doubles at the Tokyo Olympics. (Raina Instagram Photo)

The first-round ties were revealed exactly 48 hours before the participants hit the court for the first time at Ariake Tennis Park on Saturday.

Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal will face Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in the opening round of the men’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics, starting Friday. Nagal, who qualified for the Games last week after large-scale withdrawals, was pitted against the lower-ranked Uzbek in the draw on Thursday.

A first-round win for the 23-year-old Indian, ranked 160, could see him face second-seeded Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who takes on Alexander Bublik in his opening round match.

In women’s doubles, six-time Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will lock horns with the Kichenok twins — Nadiia and Lyudmyla — of Ukraine in the opening round. Interestingly, Mirza had paired up with Nadiia after returning from her maternity leave to win the Hobart Open last year.

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Meanwhile, with an eye on Golden Slam, world number on men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic’s quest for Serbian Olympic glory will begin with a first-round match against Hugo Dellien of Bolivia, while home hope Naomi Osaka will begin her bid for Japan’s first gold medal in tennis against Zheng Saisai of China. The first-round ties were revealed exactly 48 hours before the participants hit the court for the first time at Ariake Tennis Park on Saturday, July 24, at 11:00 a.m. local time.

Women’s singles top seed Ashleigh Barty will make her Olympic debut for Australia against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, fresh off her Wimbledon victory.

In the first round, Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed in the men’s singles draw, will face Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.

Andy Murray, the reigning men’s singles Olympic champion, will begin his quest for an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic title in the same tennis event against Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime, while Petra Kvitova, the 2016 women’s singles bronze medalist for the Czech Republic, will face Italian Jasmine Paolini.

Both singles draws have generated a slew of fascinating first-round matchups, including a mouthwatering opener between Kei Nishikori and Andrey Rublev in the men’s draw. Olympic swansong of Carla Suarez Navarro begins against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic of Croatia will open against Marcelo Melo and Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil – a late change in partnership after Bruno Soares was diagnosed with appendicitis shortly after arriving in Tokyo – while Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of Czech Republic will face Hsieh Yu-Chieh and Hsu Chieh-Yu of Chinese Taipei.

(With PTI Inputs)

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first published:July 22, 2021, 10:59 IST