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Serena Williams may not play in Tokyo Olympics if daughter can't join her in Japan

·Writer
·3 min read

If it comes down to it, Serena Williams’ daughter might be the key to whether she makes the trek to Tokyo for the Olympics this summer.

Williams said Monday at the Italian Open that she, like many other athletes around the globe, is still undecided about participating in the rescheduled Games amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But if Olympia, her 3-year-old daughter, can’t join her in Japan, there may not be much to decide.

“I haven’t spent 24 hours without her, so that kind of answers the question itself,” Williams said, via The Washington Post. “We’re best friends.”

Japan is in the midst of a new coronavirus surge, and a big chunk of the country is under a state of emergency through the end of the month. IOC president Thomas Bach canceled his trip to the country on Monday due to the pandemic, and the torch relay was pulled off the Hiroshima streets as a precaution. Naomi Osaka has questioned whether or not they should be held at all, too.

It’s unclear if Williams will be allowed to bring Olympia to Japan or not. Fans from foreign countries are not allowed to attend, and the country has closed its borders to more than 150 nations.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist still has about a month to decide whether or not to compete. A big part of it, she said, could be related to Wimbledon — which is scheduled to end just two weeks before the Olympic competition begins. The Games then will end less than a month before the U.S. Open.

“I haven’t really thought much about Tokyo, because it was supposed to be last year and now it’s this year, and then there is this pandemic and there is so much to think about,” she said, via Forbes’ Adam Zagoria.

“Then there is the Grand Slams. It’s just a lot. So I have really been taking it one day at a time to a fault, and I definitely need to figure out my next moves.”

Rafael Nadal also uncertain about Olympics

Like Williams, Rafael Nadal is also undecided about his future plans.

Nadal, 34, has two gold medals to his name already, having won a singles gold medal in Beijing in 2008 and a doubles gold medal in 2016.

Though he’s already going at the Italian Open and will head to the French Open later this month, Nadal hasn’t committed to a trip to Tokyo just yet.

“Honestly I can’t give you a clear answer because I don’t know,” he said Tuesday, via Forbes. “In a normal world I will never see about missing Olympics, of course. Is no doubt about that. Everybody knows how important have been for me to always play Olympics. Under these circumstances, I don’t know.

“I normally know my schedule almost 100% since 1st of January till the end of the season. This year is something a little bit different, no? We need to be flexible. We need to adapt about the things that are happening. Let’s see. I don’t know. I can’t give you an accurate answer. Sorry.”

Serena Williams celebrates with daughter Olympia
Serena Williams celebrates with her daughter Olympia after winning the final match against Jessica Pegula at the ASB Tennis Centre on January 12, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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