Tokyo 2020 Summer Games stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Kei Nishikori’s Round-2 victory over Team USA’s Marcos Giron. 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.
On a day that saw Naomi Osaka fall in the Round of 16, Kei Nishikori continues to keep Japan’s medal hopes alive at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Bronze medalist in Singles five years ago, Nishikori’s victories this week have been stunning:
- On Saturday, he and Ben McLachlan defeated Portugal’s Pedro and Joao Sousa.
- Then on Sunday, Kei opened his Singles campaign with an upset over #5-seed Andrey Rublev.
- Yesterday, he and McLachlan up-ended the #7-seeds, Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray, and are now one win away from earning a chance to medal.
First meeting. Dominant deciding set from Nishikori.
Kei Nishikori -69- (JPN) | Round 2 Announcer Introduction
At the 2014 US Open, he became the first Asian man in tennis history to reach a Grand Slam Final. 2-years later at the Summer Games in Rio, he defeated Rafael Nadal to capture Olympic Bronze – earning Japan’s first Olympic tennis medal in 96-years. On Sunday, he upset World #7 Andrey Rublev to reach today’s 2nd-Round match. Competing in his 4th Olympic Games, representing Japan – 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Kei Nishikori.
- R2 — W — Marcos Giron -65- (USA) | Score: 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1
- R1 — W —  Andrey Rublev -07- (RUS) | Score: 6-3, 6-4 | COURT-1
Marcos Giron -65- (USA) | Round 2 Announcer Introduction
This 28-year-old owns 2 ATP Challenger Tour Singles titles, and earlier this month climbed to a career-high ranking of World #64. An NCAA Division-1 Singles champion at UCLA – last month, he reached the 3rd-Round of a Major for the first time at Roland Garros, and is through to Round-2 in his Olympic Games debut. Representing the United States of America, Marcos Giron.
- R2 — L — Kei Nishikori -69- (JPN) | Score: 6-7(5), 6-3, 1-6
- R1 — W — Norbert Gombos -98- (SVK) | Score: 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-2 | COURT-4
SUMMER GAMES | Men’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 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 be asked by your nation 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
While tennis was one of the premier sports featured during the Games’ initial revival, the sport 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 are allowed to represent their home nations.