Create
Notifications

5 Youth Olympics tennis medalists making their senior debut at Olympics 2021

Andrey Rublev (L) and Karen Khachnov
Andrey Rublev (L) and Karen Khachnov
ANALYST

The tennis field at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 - set to get underway from 23 July - will feature a number of debutants who will be gunning for medals. But while playing at the quadrennial event will be a completely new experience for the likes of Naomi Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka, Daniil Medvedev and Ashleigh Barty, there are a few names who know what it is like to stand on the podium with an Olympic medal.

Here's a look at five tennis players who have won medals at the Youth Olympics in the past, and are making their senior debut this year:

1. Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (Colombia)

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano won two medals for Colombia in the tennis events at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, which were held in Buenos Aries. The 19-year old scored a win over China's Wang Xinyu in the singles bronze medal playoff, while also winning silver in the mixed doubles discipline.

Ossorio Serrano has since made a successful transition to the senior circuit. The Colombian enters the Tokyo Olympics fresh off a breakthrough season in 2021, where she won her first career title in Bogota and made her top 100 debut.

2. Karen Khachanov (Russia)

Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov

Karen Khachanov has been a regular feature on the ATP tour for a long time now. The first real breakthrough for the big-hitting Russian, however, came way back in 2014, when he won the boys' doubles silver medal at the Nanjing Youth Olympics.

Khachanov is the 12th seed in the men's singles draw at the 2020 Tokyo edition, and will open his campaign with a first-round encounter against local favorite Yoshihito Nishioka. He has also paired up with Andrey Rublev in the doubles; the pair are seeded 6th.

3. Iga Swiatek (Poland)

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek

2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek is also set to make her Olympic debut in Tokyo. The World No. 7 has been drawn in the bottom half of the draw and will face Germany's Mona Barthel in her opening match.

Swiatek is seen as one of the contenders for a medal in the singles discipline, but the youngster already has an Olympic gold in her trophy cabinet. She secured the girls' doubles title at the 2018 Buenos Aries Youth Olympics with Slovenia's Kaja Juvan.

Swiatek has had a stellar year in 2021, and will definitely be eyeing a podium finish in her senior debut at the Olympics.

4. Andrey Rublev (Russia)

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev was Karen Khachanov's partner in the 2014 boys' doubles event, where the duo won the silver medal. But Rublev has another medal at the Youth Olympics to boast of.

Playing in the boys' singles event the same year, the then-16-year-old Rublev staged a bronze medal run. Having suffered a surprise defeat in the semifinals, the Russian then eased past Japan's Jumpei Yamasaki to get his hands on the medal in the third-place play-off.

Seeded fifth in Tokyo, Rublev is also amongst the favorites for a medal this year. He does, however, face a stern test right off the bat - he plays 2016 Rio bronze medalist Japan's Kei Nishikori in the first round.

5. Kamil Majchrzak (Poland)

Kamil Majchrzak
Kamil Majchrzak

Rublev's conqueror in the 2014 Nanjing semifinals, Poland's Kamil Majchrzak, is the surprise name on the list. And amongst all five names, it is the 25-year-old from Piotrkow Trybunalski who holds the distinction of being the only singles gold medalist from the Youth Olympics.

Having upset Rublev in the last four, Majchrzak scored a straight-sets win over Brazil's Orlando Luz in the final to capture the boys' singles crown. And while he hasn't quite managed to translate his junior triumph into success on the ATP Tour, being back at the Olympics is likely to bring back some good memories for the Pole.

Edited by Rohit Mishra
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now