Tennis world erupts over Barty and Djokovic announcement at Olympics

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic, pictured here in action at the Olympics.
Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic will play in the mixed doubles event at the Olympics. Image: Getty

The tennis world erupted with delight on Tuesday after it was announced that World No.1s Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic will play in the mixed doubles event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Barty and Djokovic were both listed in the 16-team draw on Tuesday, with the Aussie teaming up with John Peers and Djokovic with Nina Stojanovic.

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It means Djokovic now has the chance to win gold in singles and mixed doubles, while Barty's chances of a medal also increased.

Djokovic, who is chasing a rare 'Golden Slam' (all four majors and Olympic gold in the same year) is through to the quarter-finals in singles.

He and Stojanovic will face Brazilian pair Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefano in the first round.

Barty, beaten in her opening singles match by Sara Sorribes Tormo, will team with Peers and take on Argentine duo Nadia Podoroska and Horacio Zeballos.

Barty also reached the quarter-finals in the women's doubles with Storm Sanders, but the Aussie duo were eliminated on Wednesday.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari take the second seeding in the mixed doubles, with Iga Swiatek representing Poland alongside Lukasz Kubot.

Fans were in a frenzy over the prospect of seeing Djokovic and Barty in the mixed.

Australia's tennis medal hopes down to doubles

Australia's Olympic tennis medal hopes rest solely on the doubles after James Duckworth was the last to be eliminated from singles on Tuesday.

Heavy rain meant Duckworth was made to wait to begin his second-round match against Russian heavyweight Karen Khachanov.

He pushed the favourite early before bowing out in a 7-5 6-1 loss in 88 minutes.

Storm Sanders and Ash Barty, pictured here during their doubles clash with Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan.
Storm Sanders and Ash Barty look on during their doubles clash with Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan. (Photo by Li Yibo/Xinhua via Getty Images)

But Australia's medal hopes are still alive and kicking with Barty and Peers in the mixed.

Barty and long-time friend Sanders had made the final eight teams in the women's doubles, as did five-time Olympian Sam Stosur and her partner Ellen Perez.

However both Aussie teams were eliminated in crushing fashion on Wednesday.

On Monday, Barty admitted her disappointment at being kicked out of the singles, but was eyeing off a medal in the doubles.

"Of course yesterday was disappointing," Barty said.

"I'm not going to hide behind the fact that I wanted to do really well here, but we move on pretty quickly in tennis.

"I've really enjoyed getting out there with Storm today and we're still on the hunt for a medal for Australia."

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