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Sports Osaka makes her return at Tokyo Olympics; Canadians find out first-round opponents

09:37  22 july  2021
09:37  22 july  2021 Source:   msn.com

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TOKYO (AP) — Naomi Osaka’s first match in nearly two months will come against 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China in the opening round of the Olympic tennis tournament.

a person holding a racket © Provided by The Canadian Press

The second-seeded Osaka, who represents host Japan and is one of the top names at the Games, is returning to competition after she withdrew from the French Open following the first round to take a mental health break.

Osaka holds a 2-1 career edge over Zheng.

The first seeded opponent that Osaka could face is No. 16 Kiki Bertens, who is playing the final tournament of her career. Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, is a possible quarterfinal opponent for Osaka.

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In the men’s draw, top-ranked Novak Djokovic will open against No. 139 Hugo Dellien of Bolivia.

Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to complete a Golden Slam by winning all four major tennis tournaments and an Olympic singles gold medal in the same year.

Djokovic recently won Wimbledon for his 20th career Grand Slam title, after opening the year by winning the Australian and French Opens.

Draws were held Thursday — two days before play opens on the hard courts at Ariake Tennis Park.

Two-time defending Olympic champion Andy Murray received a tough opener against 15th-ranked Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime. The Montrealer is seeded ninth.

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., — competing in her first Olympics — will take on Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska in the first round of the women's singles draw.

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And in doubles, Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski and Toronto's Sharon Fichman, who are the No. 7 seeds, will face Brazil's Luisa Stefani and Laura Pigossi in the first round.

Another intriguing first-round match on the men's side features Kei Nishikori of Japan against fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev of ROC.

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev opens against Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan and third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas meets Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

Half of the top 10 men’s players are not in Tokyo, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Matteo Berrettini and Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., all missing for various reasons.

Serena Williams and Simona Halep are also not playing.

Top-seeded Ash Barty — the freshly crowned Wimbledon champion — will make her Olympic debut for Australia against Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain.

Barty is also playing doubles with Storm Sanders.

Play begins on Saturday.

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf

Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press

Olympics Latest: Chinese divers 1-2 in springboard prelims .
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic: ___ China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han have finished 1-2 in the preliminaries of Olympic women’s 3-meter springboard diving. Shi totalled 350.45 points for her five dives, followed closely by Wang at 347.25. The two already teamed up to win the 3-meter synchro event. Shi is going for her second straight individual gold on the springboard and looking to extend China’s dominance in the women’s event.

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