Ash Barty's stunning move amid $26 billion Olympics chaos

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·Sports Editor
·3-min read
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Ash Barty, pictured here with the trophy after winning Wimbledon.
Ash Barty is heading to the Tokyo Olympics after winning Wimbledon. (Photo by AELTC/Ben Queenborough - Pool/Getty Images)

Some of the biggest names in world tennis have turned their backs on the Tokyo Olympics, but don't expect new Wimbledon champion Ash Barty to do the same.

Roger Federer became the latest tennis star to withdraw from the Olympics on Tuesday, revealing he suffered a knee injury at Wimbledon.

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He joined Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Serena Williams, Bianca Andreescu and Johanna Konta as high-profile withdrawals from the Games.

Men's World No.1 Novak Djokovic has also expressed his doubts about playing, saying he's currently '50-50'.

But one high-profile player who will be playing in Tokyo is Australian champion Barty.

The World No.1 has the chance to join some illustrious company in Tokyo if she can complete the rare Wimbledon-Olympics double.

Only Suzanne Lenglen (1920), Steffi Graf (1988), Venus Williams (2000), Serena Williams (2012), Nadal (2008) and Andy Murray (2016) have achieved the feat in the same season.

Retired Aussie star Jelena Dokic believes not only can Barty reign at the Games but also pull off a rare career grand slam with victories at the US Open and Australian Open as well.

Barty's life-changing 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 Wimbledon final triumph over Karolina Pliskova has left the 25-year-old halfway towards the career slam following her 2019 French Open success.

Next up is the Tokyo Games starting on July 23, with the tennis getting underway on day two.

"I'm so excited to be a part of my first Olympic team and the Aussie team," Barty said on Monday, cradling the Venus Rosewater Dish.

"We're 480-strong and to be a part of that for the first time in what will be the most unique Olympic Games ever will be awesome."

Asked if she could win gold, Barty said: "I'll give it a crack, like everyone else will be, but I'll certainly be giving it my all."

Ash Barty, pictured here after beating Karolina Pliskova in the Wimbledon final.
Ash Barty celebrates after beating Karolina Pliskova in the Wimbledon final. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Jelena Dokic tips Ash Barty for career grand slam

Dokic, the only other Australian woman this century to reach the last four at Wimbledon, is urging Barty to cash in on her window of opportunity and add "many more grand slams" to her collection.

"She can win all four and being World No.1 we can see why - she's the most consistent player out there," Dokic told AAP.

"We talk about her skills so much but it's this ability to control the nerves and play some of her best tennis when it really matters.

"That's why I genuinely believe that she can win all four slams.

"You've had players come through that play really well on hard courts and some play better on clay, some player better on grass.

"But I feel like with Ash, she's got so much variation in her game and she's so versatile and she handles the pressure and the expectation and the moment so well, I definitely feel like she can now win on hard court as well and win all four slams."

The Tokyo Olympics have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 2020 edition was delayed by a year and although it will go ahead, it will largely be held behind closed doors and with strict health restrictions in place.

Organisers have spent an estimated $26 billion on the Games.

with agencies

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