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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday July 23, 2021

The opening ceremony at the Tokyo Olympics was a joyous affair, and it finished off with what Naomi Osaka called her “greatest athletic achievement,” as the four-time Grand Slam champion concluded the ceremony by serving as Japan’s final Olympic torchbearer, lighting the Olympic cauldron.

Tennis Express

Osaka became the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron, and joined a legendary group that includes sporting luminaries such as Muhammad Ali, Yuna Kim, Wayne Gretzky and Midori Ito.

“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life,” Osaka later posted on Twitter, adding: “I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness.”

It was a special night for sport, with tennis on full display. Petra Kvitova, Jelena Ostapenko, Veronica Cepede Royg and Yen-Hsun Lu all featuring as flagbearers for their nations.

Here’s a look at how tennis interacted with Tokyo’s opening ceremony.

1. Another look at Naomi’s magical moment.


2. Petra Kvitova carrying the flag for the Czech Republic.

3. Kiki Bertens is soaking up her Olympic experience, which will be her last professional tennis event.


A post shared by Kiki Bertens (@kikibertens)

4. Here’s Team Canada – can you spot Felix Auger-Aliassime?

5. Jelena Ostapenka representing Latvia.

6. Diego Schwartzman is pumped to rep Argentina.

7.Croatia’s Donna Vekic is excited to make her Olympic debut.


A post shared by Donna Vekic (@donnavekic)

8.Aryna Sabalenka, potential Gold medalist, representing Belarus, with Ilya Ivashka and Egor Gerasimov.

9. Jennifer Brady, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul are vibing in Tokyo.

10. Belinda Bencic says Let the Games Begin!

11. Nadia Podoroska of Argentina is stoked to take part.

12. The flag bearer for Chinese Tapei, Yen-Hsun Lu

13. There is Veronica Cepede Royg, Paraguay’s flag bearer.

14. Team Spain, featuring the one and only Carla Suarez Navarro.

15. One last look at Naomi magic.


A post shared by ESPN Tenis (@espntenis)



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