My Tennis Life: Tennys Sandgren's Tokyo travelogue

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With Wednesday’s results at the Tokyo Olympics, the women’s singles, women’s doubles and men’s doubles semifinals have been finalized—meaning all of the remaining participants will play in a match with a medal on the line.

Women’s singles is the most compelling, given that only one of the survivors, Marketa Vondrousova, has even competed in a Grand Slam final. But It’s not as if upsets have left this event devoid of top-shelf talent. Vondrousova will face fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who has done everything but reach a Grand Slam final in her esteemed career (she’s a former semifinalist at Wimbledon and the US Open, and a multi-time quarterfinalist at the Australian Open and Roland Garros). In the other semi, ninth-seeded Belinda Bencic will meet 15th-seed Elena Rybakina, in a contest of two of the WTA’s top young players.

No Roger Federer, no problem for Switzerland, with Belinda Bencic leading the way in singles and doubles events.

No Roger Federer, no problem for Switzerland, with Belinda Bencic leading the way in singles and doubles events.

It feels like Switzerland’s Bencic has been around for a decade, but she’s still just 24. Rybakina, who recently reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, just turned 22. Of all the quarterfinal winners, the Kazakh’s 7-5, 6-1 dismissal of Garbine Muguruza may have been the most impressive.

Then there are the doubles draws. American medal hopes in tennis rest with Tennys Sandgren—and partner Austin Krajicek—who will face Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

“That's the way you do it, that is the way you debate,” Sandgren said to the camera after helping defeat Jan-Lennard Struff and Alexander Zverev, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

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GettyImages-1330529935

GettyImages-1330529935

Mektic and Pavic also advanced in straight sets.

On the other side of the draw, the victorious teams of Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus (New Zealand) and Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig (Croatia) both needed “third set” supertiebreakers to prevail. It was a heartbreaking way for Andry Murray, who partnered with Joe Salisbury against Cilic and Dodig, to likely end his Olympic career:

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Looking to join Murray as an Olympic gold medalist are the eight remaining players in the women’s doubles event: Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (Czech Republic) will face Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina (Russia), while Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani (Brazil) will meet Viktoija Golubic and Bencic (Switzerland).

Bencic, of course, has a chance to join Murray as a two-time gold medalist, should she emerge from both of her medal rounds.