Tokyo 2020 Summer Games stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Elina Svitolina’s comeback victory over Maria Sakkari. In Japan, the live narration includes two voices: Japanese announcer DJ Ketchup and English announcer Andy Taylor. Together, they cover the presentation on Center Court, while additional Japanese and English speaking announcers cover Courts 1 and 2 at Ariake Tennis Park.
She’s never won a medal, but Elina Svitolina is still part of Olympic lore. Five years ago, Svitolina scored one of the biggest upsets of her career – defeating World #1 Serena Williams to reach the Quarterfinals in Rio. Though she won only two games against eventual Bronze medalist Petra Kvitova, the Round of 16 upset still resonates.
This week hasn’t been easy. All three of her matches have gone the distance in Tokyo’s unbearable humidity. That said, one can’t help but feel Elina’s medal chances are solid. She continues to ride an endorphin-high after her wedding just 11 days ago, when she an Gael Monfils married in Geneva.
Fourth meeting. Svitolina earns first win since their debut clash at Wimbledon in 2019.
 Elina Svitolina -06- (UKR) | Round of 16 Announcer Introduction
Competing in her second Olympic Games – 5-years-ago in Rio, she upset World #1 Serena Williams to reach the Quarterfinals in her Olympic Games debut. In all, she owns 15 WTA Singles titles – including the 2018 WTA Finals – and has been consistently ranked inside the WTA’s top-10 for over five consecutive years. Representing Ukraine, the #6 player in the world, Elina Svitolina.
- R3 — W —  Maria Sakkari -19- (GRE) | Score: 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
- R2 — W — Ajla Tomljanovic -51- (AUS) | Score: 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 | COURT-2
- R1 — W — Laura Siegemund -61- (GER) | Score: 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 | COURT-1
 Maria Sakkari -19- (GRE) | Round of 16 Announcer Introduction
Competing in her first Olympic Games, this 26-year-old has earned four victories over top-10 opponents this year alone – including a win over World #2 Naomi Osaka to reach the Semifinals in Miami. In just the past two months, she’s climbed to a career-high ranking of World #18, and reached her first Grand Slam Semifinal at Roland Garros. Representing Greece, Maria Sakkari.
- R3 — L —  Elina Svitolina -06- (UKR) | Score: 7-5, 3-6, 4-6
- R2 — W — Nina Stojanovic -90- (SRB) | Score: 6-1, 6-2 | COURT-7
- R1 — W — Anett Kontaveit -28- (EST) | Score: 7-5, 6-2 | COURT-3
SUMMER GAMES | Women’s Singles Medalists
Amid COVID concern, the Games go on
Postponed for a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games finally launched on Friday, 23 July 2021. After 18-months of lockdowns, desperately trying to contain COVID’s insidious spread, the world finally developed effective vaccines. Sadly, though, 4-million lost their lives, while over 193-million contracted the virus. And Tokyo’s case count was on the rise.
But thanks to science and nearly 2-years of experience, organizers understood that it was entirely possible to responsibly stage the Summer Games without creating a super-spreader event. No fans allowed. Tickets revoked. All international visitors barred from the country – unless competing or working.
From the athlete, to the volunteer, to the Japanese announcer and English announcer — everyone involved with the Games exercised the procedures and protocols painstakingly learned through 18-months of uncertainty and despair. Quarantines. Life in bubbles. Regular hand-hygiene. Masks. Limited long-term indoor exposure to others. And of course, social distancing. But above all else: Most of the Tokyo 2020 team was vaccinated.
Come hell or high water, the Summer Games would go on.
Naomi Osaka ignites the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Cauldron
On a more positive note, one of the most distinguished honors in all of sport is to light the Olympic cauldron. Any American over 40 remembers the emotional moment in 1996 when Muhammed Ali courageously climbed the steps to light the flame in Atlanta. His body ravaged by Parkinson’s disease. That singular moment creates indelible memories.
This year, the Japanese Olympic Committee secretly bestowed the honor to 23-year-old Naomi Osaka. Originally scheduled to play the first match on Center Court Saturday morning, it was unusual on Friday to hear that her match had been moved to Sunday. Nothing further was said.
Then, at the conclusion of a subdued, yet deeply respectful opening ceremony and parade of nations – it was Naomi Osaka who climbed the steps and torched the flame that brightly burned over the Games of the 32nd Olympiad. Obviously, it was a humbling honor not lost on the 4-time Grand Slam Champion, who was making her Olympic debut.
Well represented during the parade of nations, tennis players Petra Kvitova (CZE), Jelena Ostapenko (LAT), and Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) all served as flag-bearers.
Tennis at the Summer Games
One of the premier sports featured during the Games’ initial revival, tennis still has a contentious history with the Summer Games. It fell off the radar after 1924, mainly due to conflicts between the International Lawn Tennis Federation and the IOC. The two major obstacles:
- Allowing professionals to compete in a global showcase for amature athletics.
- Scheduling. With the Summer Games so close to the conclusion of the Wimbledon Championships, the ILTF and the IOC were in direct competition for tournament participation by the sport’s top-athletes.
After a 60 year absence, tennis and the IOC worked out their differences, and the sport returned as an official event during the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. Now under the guidance of the International Tennis Federation, professionals proudly represent their home nations.