ITF introduces Continental Qualification spots for Tokyo Olympics
Madrid: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the introduction of six Continental Qualification places for both the men's and women's singles events at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The International Olympic Committee's Executive Board approved those new qualification places as part of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for tennis, the ITF said on Wednesday, reports Efe.
Tennis at the 2020 Games will once again consist of five disciplines: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.
The men's and women's singles draws will each be made up of 64 players, with a maximum of four per country.
Like in previous Olympic Games, there will be 56 direct acceptances and eight ITF places, including the six new Continental Qualification places.
For the first time in Olympic history, players will have the chance to earn a spot in the Olympic tennis singles events through their success at one of the regional multi-sport games, including the 2018 Asian Games (men's and women's singles winners) and 2019 African Games (men's and women's singles winners) and Pan American Games (men's and women's singles winners and runners-up).
Berths in the men's singles and women's singles may also be awarded to players from Europe (one man and one woman) and Oceania (one man and one woman) who are the highest ranked players in singles from countries not yet represented in that discipline.
Players can secure Continental Qualification spots in the 2020 Summer Olympics provided their ranking is in the top 300 on June 8, 2020, and provided the quota for that nation has not yet been filled by four direct acceptances, the ITF said.
"The introduction of Continental Qualification places is a significant and positive change that we believe will help strengthen participation in these important regional games, and will provide opportunities for additional nations to contest the Olympic Tennis Event," ITF President David Haggerty said.