Tokyo, Japan, 22 July 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Sam Stosur will create history in Tokyo this week, becoming the first Australian tennis player to compete at five Olympic Games.

She surpasses the efforts of Todd Woodbridge and Rennae Stubbs, who both represented Australia in four Olympic Games during their stellar careers.

It is an achievement that means a lot to 37-year-old Stosur too.

“It’s super special being able to represent your country in one Olympics, let alone five,” said Stosur.

“I can’t believe I’m still going at this point in time. Thankfully I was able to keep going and make it between London and Tokyo, which I didn’t ever think was going to be on the cards.”

Stosur, who made her Olympic debut at Athens in 2004, describes being a member of the Australian Olympic Team as a true honour.

“You get to meet people that you’d never ever think that you’d be able to meet or talk to, and whatever their sport is, they’re the best in the country and some of the best in the world. To be part of that is absolutely incredible,” she said.

Stosur’s best Olympic singles result is a third-round showing at Rio 2016. She scored wins against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko and Japan’s Misaki Doi, before running into second seed and eventual silver medallist Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Stosur got within one win of competing for a medal in the mixed doubles competition at London 2012. British favourites and eventual silver medallists Andy Murray and Laura Robson defeated Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt in a three-set quarterfinal.

Sam Stosur at the Olympic Games 
Singles Doubles Mixed doubles
Athens 2004 First round First round (partnering Nicole Pratt)
Beijing 2008 Second round Second round (partnering Rennae Stubbs)
London 2012 First round First round (partnering Casey Dellacqua) Quarterfinals (partnering Lleyton Hewitt)
Rio 2016 Third round First round (partnering Daria Gavrilova) First round (partnering John Peers)
Tokyo 2020 TBC TBC (partnering Ellen Perez)
Career win-loss record 3-4 1-3 1-2

Stosur is competing in both singles and doubles in Tokyo. Her doubles partner is Olympic debutant Ellen Perez, who is 12 years her junior.

“To be playing doubles there with Ellen is going to be really exciting,” Stosur said.

The former world No.4 and US Open 2011 champion becomes only the sixth tennis player in history to compete at five Olympic Games – following Indian Leander Paes (seven appearances), Canadian Daniel Nestor (six), Bahama’s Mark Knowles (five), Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (five) and American Venus Williams (five).

Stosur joins Williams as only the second woman to compete in five Olympic singles events.

She is also the only tennis player who competed in Athens 2004 playing in Tokyo – a stunning reminder of Stosur’s remarkable longevity in the sport.

“I’m very fortunate to have had the career that I’ve had and to play for so long,” Stosur said.

“I’ve only been able to do that because I’ve had great people around me and it’s something that I love.”

> READ: Olympic Games tennis draws for Tokyo revealed