New Delhi: There is a lot to play for at the coming Asian Games in Jakarta as the winners of the men's and women's singles event in tennis will earn direct entry to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The ITF today announced the introduction of six continental qualification places, approved by the IOC Executive Board, as part of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for tennis.
The 2020 Olympic Tennis Event will feature five disciplines - men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles.
Each singles draw will comprise 64 players, with a maximum of four players per nation. There will be 56 direct acceptances as at previous Games, and eight ITF places, including the six Continental Qualification places.
However, the players' ranking should be within the top 300 on the singles rankings of June 8, 2020, and the quota for that particular nation should not be filled by four direct acceptances.
ITF president David Haggerty said: "The introduction of Continental Qualification places is a significant and positive change that we believe will help strengthen participation in these important regional games, and will provide opportunities for additional nations to contest the Olympic Tennis Event.
"This initiative forms part of our commitment under the ITF2024 strategy to secure mutually beneficial partnerships, and we look forward to working with our Regional Associations to ensure successful implementation," he added.
For the North and South American continent, the qualification route will be the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. At these Games, both the finalists will qualify.
For the African continent, the qualification event will be the 2019 African Games in Luksaka, Zambia.
One place will be awarded to the highest-ranked man and woman in both Europe and Oceania from a country not yet represented in singles.