Sydney, June 29 (IANS) World No. 1 women’s tennis player Ashleigh Barty and world No. 15 men’s player Alex de Minaur will be part of the Australian contingent, which will compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games beginning July 23.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said in a statement on Tuesday that it will be sending the biggest ever tennis team to the Games, “with the 11 athletes eclipsing the 10-strong teams from Sydney 2000 and Rio 2016, and the 37-year-old Samantha Stosur becoming the first Australian tennis player to make five Olympics”.
Samantha, the 2011 US Open winner, and Ashleigh will be joined by Ajla Tomljanovic in the women’s singles, with Ashleigh teaming up with Storm Sanders and Samantha with Ellen Perez in the women’s doubles.
Rio Olympians John Millman, Nick Kyrgios and James Duckworth will join De Minaur in the men’s singles, with Millman partnering Luke Saville, and John Peers playing alongside De Minaur in the men’s doubles.
The 2004 Athens Olympic women’s singles bronze medallist Alicia Molik will captain the women’s team and national men’s coach Jaymon Crabb will lead the men’s team.
“It’s super special being able to represent your country in one Olympics, let alone five,” said Samantha.
“I can’t believe I’m still going at this point in time, but thankfully I was able to keep going and make it between London (Wimbledon) and Tokyo which I didn’t ever think was going to be on the cards.
“To be part of a broader Australian team, that’s just another level of representation and there’s so many amazing, fantastic athletes, in the team every single year. You get to meet people that you’d never ever think that you’d be able to meet or talk to and whatever their sport is, they’re the best in the country and some of the best in the world. To be part of that is absolutely incredible,” added Samantha.