Tokyo 2020 Summer Games stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Marketa Vondrousova’s convincing Semifinal victory over Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. 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.
Inspired Marketa Vondrousova guaranteed a medal in her Olympic debut
Two years ago, Marketa Vondrousova leapt to a career-high ranking of World #14 after reaching the championship match at Roland Garros. Currently the World #42, she used a protected ranking to ensure her spot on the Czech Republic’s stacked roster. Had she not, Karolina Muchova would have been the fourth Czech talent in the Olympic Singles draw.
Muchova can rest easy. Marketa is realizing destiny this week in Tokyo.
In the opening round, Marketa defeated 16-seed Kiki Bertens, who announced her retirement from the Tour following the Olympics. In Round-2, she dominated late-entry Mihaela Buzarnescu. She then earned one of the biggest victories of her career, knocking-out the World #2 and “Face of Tokyo 2020,” Naomi Osaka. Yesterday, she skated past Spain’s Paula Badosa, who was forced to retire due to heat exhaustion.
Behind five wins, including two top-10 victories, Marketa Vondrousova will compete for Olympic Gold in Tokyo. On Saturday night, she’ll become the first player from the Czech Republic ever to reach the Gold Medal match in Women’s Singles.
Another Olympic First in Tokyo
Earlier today, Marketa’s teammates Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova also reached the Women’s Doubles Final. For the first time, both the Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles Gold Medal matches feature clashes between the same countries.
- SINGLES FINAL: Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) vs Belinda Bencic (SUI)
- DOUBLES FINAL: Siniakova / Krejcikova (CZE) vs Bencic / Golubic (SUI)
Fifth meeting. Vondrousova’s second top-10 upset of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Marketa Vondrousova -42- (CZE) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction
On Tuesday, this 22-year-old fearlessly upset World #2 Naomi Osaka in Round-3 – and is through to the Semifinals in her Olympic Games debut. She owns 1 WTA Singles title, has been ranked as high as World #14, and two years ago – reached the championship match at Roland Garros. Representing the Czech Republic, Marketa Vondrousova.
- SF — W —  Elina Svitolina -06- (UKR) | Score: 6-3, 6-1
- QF — W — Paula Badosa -29- (ESP) | Score: 6-3 RET (Heat) | COURT-4
- R3 — W —  Naomi Osaka -02- (JPN) | Score: 6-1, 6-4 | RECAP
- R2 — W — Mihaela Buzarnescu -168- (ROU) | Score: 6-1, 6-2 | COURT-6
- R1 — W —  Kiki Bertens -21- (NED) | Score: 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 | COURT-2
 Elina Svitolina -06- (UKR) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction
She has courageously battled to reach the Final-4 – behind three deciding-set victories in the Tokyo heat over the first three rounds. Now a 2-time Olympian – five years ago in Rio, she upset World #1 and reigning Olympic Gold medalist Serena Williams. In all, she owns 15 WTA Singles titles (including the 2018 WTA Finals), and has been ranked inside the WTA’s top-10 for over five consecutive years. Representing Ukraine, the #6 player in the world, Elina Svitolina.
- SF — L — Marketa Vondrousova -42- (CZE) | Score: 3-6, 1-6
- QF — W — Camila Giorgi -61- (ITA) | Score: 6-4, 6-4 | COURT-1
- R3 — W —  Maria Sakkari -19- (GRE) | Score: 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 | RECAP
- 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
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.