Tokyo 2020. Belinda Bencic advances to the Semifinals

Tokyo 2020 Summer Games stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Belinda Bencic’s momentum-swapping victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Competing in her first Olympic Games, Belinda’s four match victories this week earned her a spot in the Tokyo 2020 medal rounds, where a win tomorrow ensures Gold or Silver. Meanwhile, a loss means Bronze or nothing.

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.

Announcer Andy Taylor. Tokyo 2020. Quarterfinals. Belinda Bencic defeats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Match Recap

Seventh meeting. Another ride on momentum’s pendulum.

Bencic and Pavlyuchenkova have a history of extreme momentum shifts during their matches. No doubt, Belinda was thrilled to go up a set in just 25-minutes. But after the 2019 Moscow Final and their 2020 Round-1 battle in Dubai (where Bencic was the defending champion), she knew today’s clash would go the distance. The early break in the deciding set was critical.

Announcer Andy Taylor. Tokyo 2020. Quarterfinals. Belinda Bencic defeats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Head to Head

[9] Belinda Bencic -12- (SUI) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction

A 2-time Finalist this year (Brisbane and Berlin), this 24-year-old owns 4 WTA Singles titles, has been ranked as high as World #4 – and 2-years-ago, reached her first Grand Slam Semifinal at the US Open. Making her Olympic debut here in Tokyo, she is through to the Quarterfinals with wins over Jessica Pegula, Misaki Doi and French Open Champion Barbora Krejcikova. Representing Switzerland, Belinda Bencic.

  • QF — W — [13] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova -18- (RUS) | Score: 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
  • R3 — W — [8] Barbora Krejcikova -11- (CZE) | Score: 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 | COURT-2
  • R2 — W — Misaki Doi -94- (JPN) | Score: 6-2, 6-4 | COURT-1
  • R1 — W — Jessica Pegula -27- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 6-3 | COURT-1

[13] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova -18- (ROC) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction

At 30-years-old, she just reached her first Grand Slam Singles Final at Roland Garros, and arrived in Tokyo ranked inside the WTA’s top-20 for the first time in 3-years. A 3-time Billie Jean King Cup Finalist, she owns 12 WTA Singles titles and is competing in her second Olympic Games. Representing the Russian Olympic Committee, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

  • QF — L — [9] Belinda Bencic -12- (SUI) | Score: 0-6, 6-3, 3-6
  • R3 — W — Sara Sorribes Tormo -48- (ESP) | Score: 6-1, 6-3 | COURT-5
  • R2 — W — Anna-Lena Friedsam -119- (GER) | Score: 6-1, 6-1 | COURT-3
  • R1 — W — Sara Errani -104- (ITA) | Score: 6-1, 6-0 | COURT-3

SUMMER GAMES | Women’s Singles Medalists

Announcer Andy Taylor. Summer Games. Womens Singles Medalists 1896-2016

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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.