Roger Federer says athletes need a decision on whether Tokyo Olympics will be going ahead

Roger Federer has called on organisers of the Tokyo Olympics to make a decision on whether this summer’s Games should go ahead or not after Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency.

A petition calling for the cancellation of the rescheduled Games has garnered 350,000 signatures, raising new questions about whether the Olympics should go ahead.

Rafael Nadal, who is tied with Federer at 20 for the most Grand Slam singles titles in men’s tennis, and 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams this week said they were still unsure of competing in Tokyo.

Japan’s top-ranked women’s and men’s tennis players – Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori – also added their voice to the concerns, saying the risks of holding the Olympics amid the pandemic should continue to be carefully discussed.

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“It’s difficult,” Federer told Switzerland’s Leman Bleu television. “We’re not hearing much. That makes me think the Games will happen, even if I’ve heard that lots of people in Tokyo are against the Games.

“Honestly I don’t know what to think. I would love to play in the Olympics, win a medal for Switzerland, that would make me so proud.

“But if that doesn’t happen due to the situation, I would be the first to understand.

“But I think what the athletes need is a decision: is it happening or isn’t it?

“At the moment, we have the impression that it will. We know it’s a fluid situation. And also you can also decide as an athlete if you want to go. If you feel there’s a lot of resistance, maybe it’s better not to go. I don’t know.”

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The Olympics are set to run from July 23 to August 8 after being postponed in March last year over the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan is currently battling a surge of infections and has extended a state of emergency in its capital, Tokyo, and three areas until the end of May.

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