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Tokyo Olympics Ladies Tennis Wrap • Gold Medal Match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland serves to Elena Rybakina of Kazahstan during their Women’s Singles Semifinal Tennis match of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan, 29 July 2021. EPA-EFE/RUNGROJ YONGRIT

By: Thomas Cluck

The women’s singles draw in tennis at the Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympic Games hasn’t lacked upsets and it’s fitting the surprise (asterisk) tournament will feature an unexpected Gold Medal Match between Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova.

In the first semifinal on Centre Court, Bencic held off Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, fighting off the big serve of Rybakina, who’s enjoyed a breakout 2020 and 2021 including ousting 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams earlier this year at the French Open, to guarantee herself a medal leaving Japan.

The color of that medal for the Swiss Miss, gold or silver, will be decided against the tricky Czech lefty, 2019 Roland Garros finalist Vondrousova, who routed the remaining favorite, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, in comprehensive fashion 6-3, 6-1. 

Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in action against Naomi Osaka of Japan during the Women’s Singles Third Round Tennis events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan, 27 July 2021. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Svitolina and Vondrousova’s chances of Olympic medal glory aren’t dead yet however. They will face off in the always highly-contested bronze medal match this weekend.

Bencic’s dream week continues in the women’s doubles final as well as she joins her partner Viktorija Golubic, a tricky veteran who’s enjoyed a great summer, in the gold medal match against Czech team Barbora Krejickova, the 2021 French Open singles winner, and Katerina Siniakova who defeated Russians Veronika Kudermetova, another breakout player this year, and new mom Elena Vesnina, coming back to tennis, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6. Kudermetova and Vesnina will go for the bronze medal as heavy favorites against a new, inexperienced Brazilian team in the bronze medal match.

The ladies will take the day off tomorrow as the men take center stage at the Ariake Coliseum with men’s singles semifinals, men’s doubles medal matches, and mixed doubles semifinals as well.