Melbourne, Australia, 5 July 2024 | Tennis Australia

Olivia Gadecki is thrilled at the opportunity to “be part of something bigger than herself” when she represents Australia at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.

With the International Tennis Federation finalising its doubles entry list for the Olympic Tennis Event, Gadecki realised she had made the cut, confirming her women’s doubles partnership with countrywoman Ajla Tomljanovic.

As a result, Gadecki will make her Olympic Games debut, joining an Australian tennis team that also features Tomljanovic, Alex de Minaur, Alexei Popyrin, Rinky Hijikata, Ellen Perez, Daria Saville, Matt Ebden and John Peers.

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“It’s incredible. I honestly didn’t really think this was going to be the case, but to get the call up is really exciting,” said Gadecki, who last week qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon.

“It’s an athletes’ dream to go to the Olympics and represent their country. So to be able to do that is very exciting.

“It means so much to me, wearing the green and gold with so much pride. Not often do you get to represent your country and be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

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Gadecki, 22, is currently the world No.75 in doubles and has enjoyed a brilliant season in the tandem game.

Playing with a variety of partners in 2024, she has won 12 of 15 matches, a highlight being her first WTA title in Austin alongside Brit Olivia Nicholls.

Seeing this success pave the way to Olympic selection is especially meaningful for Gadecki, who fondly remembers watching Olympics broadcasts back in her school days.

“My teachers would always put the Olympics on during class, which was very cool and very special to us all. Especially being an athlete myself. That would probably be my earliest memory (of the Games),” she reflected.

Gadecki revealed that outside of competition, she was looking forward to attending other sports in Paris and watching different athletes at the peak of their powers.

“Seeing other sports (outside of) tennis is very cool. And especially live. Nothing beats live sports,” she said.

“So being able to watch everyone doing great is very exciting. And I can’t wait.”

Gadecki, who hails from the Gold Coast, is also excited for the chance to participate in a team environment – something tennis players rarely get to experience.

“It’s such an individual sport, tennis. Like I said, to be part of something bigger than yourself is something that doesn’t happen often, and to be able to have that opportunity is amazing. I just can’t wait to soak it up,” she said.

“I’ve known Ajla probably since I was 16. Growing up watching her train in Brisbane during her pre-season was very special, and I learned a lot from her.

“To be sharing the court with her at the Olympics is very special, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Chris O’Connell has withdrawn from the men’s singles competition due to injury.

“I was so excited to qualify for the Olympics and am disappointed that my body is just not where it needs to be to compete on the clay,” O’Connell said.

“I wish all the team the best of luck in Paris.”