Tokyo 2020 Summer Games stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic’s Quarterfinal victory over Japan’s hopefuls, Ben McLachlan and Kei Nishikori. Competing in their first Olympic Games, the top tandem in the world is through to 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.
 Nikola Mektic -02- (CRO) and Mate Pavic -01- (CRO) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
These Davis Cup Champions finally joined forces full-time at the start of the year – and in just 7-months, they’ve captured 8 doubles titles together, including their first Grand Slam title earlier this month at Wimbledon. Now on a 12-match win-streak, they are through to the Quarterfinals in their Olympic Games debut. Representing Croatia – the top two doubles talents in the world, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
- QF — W — Kei Nishikori and Ben McLachlan (JPN) | Score: 6-3, 6-3
- R2 — W — Lorenzo Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) | Score: 7-5, 6-7(5) [10-7] | COURT-4
- R1 — W — Marcelo Melo and Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) | Score: 7-6(6), 6-4 | COURT-10
Kei Nishikori -68s- (JPN) and Ben McLachlan -38- (JPN) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction
Playing together for just the second time – on Monday, these two Tokyo fan favorites upset the #7-seeds Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray from Great Britain, and have advanced to the Quarterfinals without dropping a set. Representing Japan – 2016 Olympic Singles Bronze Medalist Kei Nishikori and 2017 Japan Open Doubles Champion Ben McLachlan.
- QF — L —  Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (CRO) | Score: 3-6, 3-6
- R2 — W —  Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray (GBR) | Score: 6-3, 6-4 | COURT-7
- R1 — W — Joao Sousa and Pedro Sousa (POR) | Score: 6-1, 6-4 | COURT-5
SUMMER GAMES | Men’s Doubles Medalists
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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.