Montenegrin Danka Kovinić is one of the first to be given a Universality place by the ITF. GETTY IMAGES

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed Lebanon’s Benjamin Hassan and Montenegro’s Danka Kovinić participation at the Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Event after both were awarded Universality places in the men’s and women’s singles events.

Universality Places are available in the qualification systems of select sports for nations with traditionally small delegations, designed to increase the diversity of participating nations across the sports programme of the Olympic Games.

Hassan will become the first tennis player to represent Lebanon in the Olympics, while Kovinić will appear in her second Olympics after making her debut in Rio 2016.

"It’s always a great pleasure representing my country, especially at the Olympics,” said Kovinić in a statement to ITF. “This means even more for me, knowing I had to withdraw from Tokyo 2020 at the last minute due to an injury,” she went on. 

Kovinić currently ranks 442 on the WTA, with an all-time career high of 46 back in 2016.  For Hassan, who was recently defeated by Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the Boss Open, this is one step closer to realising his dreams.

"Growing up, playing tennis has always been my passion and I had a dream of reaching stellar positions and representing my country in international tournaments," Hassan tells ITF. "Taking part in the Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Event is an important milestone in realising my dreams.”

The entry process is due to be completed by the end of June, determined by today’s ATP and WTA rankings by 10 June, The full entry list for Paris 2024 will be announced by the ITF on 4 July, though some nations will be able to confirm their teams in advance of that date.