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Sports Canada tennis schedule: How to watch every 2021 Olympic match from Tokyo

09:41  25 july  2021
09:41  25 july  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Before the tennis world turns its attention to the last Grand Slam for 2021, the U.S. Open, all eyes will be on the hardcourts of Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo for the 2021 Olympics.

It's been 21 years since Canada won its lone medal — a gold one — by the men's doubles team of Sébastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor. This year, Canada brings a strong contingent to the Summer Games that could see that number rise.

While a number of big names have dropped out of the tournament for a number of reasons — including Canada's own Bianca Andreescu and Vasek Pospisil — the tournament does include world No. 1 men's player Novak Djokovic. The Serbian is just one Grand Slam championship away from the rare calendar Grand Slam and, if he wins gold, would grab the Golden Slam. Legend Steffi Graf was the last to do both in 1988.

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Play begins Friday, July 23 (Saturday in Tokyo), with the men's and women's finals on July 31. Here's everything you need to know about how to watch the Canadians competing at the 2021 Olympics.

Which Canadian players are in the Olympics?

Félix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Annie Fernandez will represent Canada in men's and women's singles, respectively. Canadian doubles sensations Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski will be teaming up.

The Montrealer faces a stiff test in the first round when he meets up with two-time defending champ Andy Murray. Seeded ninth, Auger-Aliassime, who made the quarters at Wimbledon not too long ago, did beat the Brit back in September at the U.S. Open in straight sets. Down the line for the 20-year-old is Pablo Carreno Busta (third round) and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarters.

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Fellow Quebecois Fernandez, who hails from Laval, is making her Olympic debut and will see the Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska to open things up. If the lefty advances, she could face No. 11 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and then No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. Fernandez, at just 18, already has a win over Bencic under her belt.

Ontario natives Fichman (Toronto) and Dabrowski (Ottawa) are two of the top doubles players in the world. The duo, seeded seventh, have teamed up before and won a bunch of tournaments including in Waterloo, Ont., in 2012 and 2013. They most recently played together at the 2019 Fed Cup. To open things up, they'll face the Brazilian team of Luisa Stefani and Laura Pigossi with Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jessica Pegula looming in the quarterfinals.

Dabrowski and Auger-Aliassime are also joining forces in mixed doubles.

Where is Bianca Andreescu?

Canada's No. 1 player withdrew back on July 12 from the 2021 Summer Olympics.

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"To all my amazing fans," Bianca Andreescu wrote on an Instagram post, "I would like to inform you that I have made the very difficult decision to not play in the Tokyo Olympics later this month. I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl, but with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart, this is the right decision to make for myself.

"I look forward to representing Canada in future Fed Cup ties, and competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris."

Less than two weeks earlier, the fifth-ranked Andreescu was excited for the opportunity to represent her country.

"Yeah, 100 percent. I'm super looking forward to it," she said when asked by Match Point Canada's Mike McIntyre after her exit from Wimbledon, about making the team and the chance of bringing home a medal. However, she then added: "Going to take a couple days off, see how I feel, and then go from there."

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Andreescu is scheduled to compete at the 2021 National Bank Open. It begins in Montreal on Aug. 7, for the women (the men will play in Toronto) and Andreescu is the defending champ having won in 2019 after Serena Williams had to retire in the final. Canada's biggest tournament was not held in 2020 because of the pandemic. Just down the road from that is the 2021 U.S. Open in New York; it begins Aug. 30.

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Where are Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospsil?

Denis Shapovalov, who just made a run to the semifinals at Wimbledon and is the highest-ranked Canadian man at No. 10, announced back in June that he would not compete.

"Hey everyone, after careful consideration I wanted to let you know that I will not be participating in the Olympics this year," Shapovalov said. "Representing Canada means the world to me, but due to the current situation my team and I have decided this is the best decision for everyone’s safety."

Milos Raonic withdrew from the Olympics after also skipping Wimbledon because of a calf injury.

“I didn’t want for it to get to this point, but I am sad to announce I will not be competing at the Olympics this summer. It is always the greatest honor to represent Canada on any world stage, and to miss that opportunity is not easy,” Raonic wrote on Instagram, citing that he is working hard to return as soon as possible.

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Vasek Pospisil, who was named to the team and was scheduled to compete in singles and doubles with Auger-Aliassime, withdrew on July 15.

"Several factors have played into this difficult decision which include an aggravated right shoulder that will need rest to prevent further surgery," he posted on Instagram. "This was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make; playing for your country is the biggest honor in sport and going to the Olympics is every young child's dream, as it was mine. I had to be honest with myself that I am both physically and mentally not able to make the trip."

When are the matches involving Canadians at Olympics 2021?

(All times are Eastern and subject to change. Canadian players in bold.)

Date Time Round Match
Fri., July 23 10 p.m. 1 Leylah Fernandez def. Dayana Yastremska (UKR), 6-3, 3-6, 6-0
Fri., July 23 10 p.m. 1 Pigossi/Stefani (BRA) def. (7) Fichman/Dabrowski, 7-6(3), 6-4
Sun., July 25 1 a.m. 1 (9) Félix Auger-Aliassime vs. *Max Purcell (AUS)
TBD TBD 2 Leylah Fernandez vs. (11) Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)

*Auger-Aliassime was originally scheduled to face Andy Murray in the first round. The two-time defending gold medallist withdrew earlier in the day.

How to watch the Olympics in Canada

  • TV channels: CBC
  • Live streams: CBC Gem, CBC's Tokyo 2020 website, CBC Olympics app

CBC will be the broadcast home of the Tokyo Olympics in Canada. The coverage will be 'round the clock, as the network will air four, six-hour programs covering all things Olympics and events featuring Team Canada. Like the United States' coverage, CBC will show both live coverage and tape delays of the major events.

Streamers will also have plenty of ways to watch the Games in Canada. CBC Gem and the CBC Olympics app will both provide streaming options for Canadians and CBC.ca will provide live events, highlights and replays of various CBC-aired sports throughout the Olympics.

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