Tennis-Lebanon’s Hassan and Montenegro’s Kovinic awarded ‘Universality Places’ into Paris 2024

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(Reuters) – Benjamin Hassan and Danka Kovinic have been named as the first two tennis players confirmed to take part in the Paris Olympics after they were awarded ‘Universality Places’ into the men’s and women’s singles competitions, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Monday.

Hassan will become the first tennis player from Lebanon to compete in the Olympics, while Montenegro’s Kovinic will appear in her second Olympics after making her debut in Rio 2016.

“Universality Places are awarded to nations who are under-represented in the Olympic Games,” the ITF said in a statement.

Hassan said it was a great pleasure to represent his country at the Olympics.

“This means even more for me, knowing I had to withdraw from Tokyo 2020 at the last minute due to an injury,” he said in a statement.

“I had a dream of reaching stellar positions and representing my country in international tournaments,” said Kovinic. “Taking part in the Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Event is an important milestone in realising my dreams.”

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)

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