Will Novak Djokovic clinch his first gold medal at Tokyo Olympics 2021?
Novak Djokovic will be aiming to go one step closer to the highly coveted Golden Slam as the Serbian aims to win his first gold medal at Tokyo Olympics 2021.
The World number 1 has an aura of invincibility after winning the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon this season.
No male player is yet to achieve the golden slam (winning 4 grand slams in a row and an Olympic gold medal in the same year). Novak Djokovic is on the cusp of history as the debate of the Greatest Player of All Time (GOAT) heats up.
Novak Djokovic has the best opportunity at this year's Olympics in Tokyo as he will also be playing on his favorite surface, outdoor hard courts. Interestingly, the DecoTurf surface is also used in the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open.
Who were the men’s singles medalists in the last 3 Olympics?
|2008||Rafael Nadal||Fernando Gonzalez||Novak Djokovic|
|2012||Andy Murray||Roger Federer||Juan Martin del Potro|
|2016||Andy Murray||Juan Martin del Potro||Kei Nishikori|
How has Novak Djokovic performed in the previous editions of the Olympic Games?
|2008||Won the bronze medal in singles |
after defeating James Blake
in straight sets.
|2012||Lost to Juan Martin del Potro|
in straight sets in the bronze medal match
|2016||Again suffered a straight-set defeat |
to del Potro in the first round.
Can any player stop the red-hot Novak Djokovic at Tokyo Olympics?
Novak Djokovic has a perfect 9-0 win-loss record on hard courts this year. He was unbeaten in both the ATP Cup and the Australian Open 2021.
“Although there are absences of important players, I feel that I will have to fight against many of the best in the world, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev will be clear candidates for gold, but in a tournament like this anything can happen,” said Novak Djokovic highlighting the potential players who can oust him at the Tokyo Olympics.
Novak Djokovic will play World number 139 Hugo Dellien in the first round at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
The 34-year-old has lost twice each to Medvedev and Tsitsipas on hard courts and once to Zverev. However, the Serb has the edge against the talented Next-Gen trio.
The Serb will be wary of other opponents like Andy Murray (2-time gold medallist), the Russian duo of Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev, Kei Nishikori (bronze medallist in 2016 and the home favorite), Felix Auger Aliassime, and Hubert Hurkacz.
Will the change in rules impact Djokovic’s campaign?
The Next-Gen players have always supported best-of-3-set matches even in grand slams. They feel that there is a higher chance of the Big 3 (Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic) suffering an upset if it is a 3-set encounter.
Accordingly, the organizers have changed the rules. While the last Olympics in 2016 had a best-of-five-sets to decide the winner of the finals, all matches in the Ariake Tennis Park (including the gold medal match) will be a best-of-three-sets affair.
Hence, Djokovic’s tendency of losing the first two sets and winning the next 3 will definitely not work here in the Olympics 2021.
The Serb has always thrived in marathon matches (twice in the French Open this year). However, the World number 1 should be quick off the blocks in Tokyo to avoid a stunning defeat.
Will the tight schedule in Tokyo affect Djokovic’s chances?
All the tennis events at the Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 24 to August 1, 2021, in the capital of Japan. Novak Djokovic will have to smartly manage his schedule after announcing plans to play mixed doubles with compatriot Nina Stojanović.
There will be a clash between Nole’s 3rd round - Singles and 1st round - Mixed doubles on July 28, and the quarterfinals of both Singles and Mixed doubles on July 29.
If the Serbian reaches the semifinals of both the singles and mixed doubles events, he will have to play 4 matches back-to-back from July 30 to August 1, 2021.
"Olympics are specific in terms of pressure, expectations and emotions, everything is different compared to other tournaments and I know that well, I felt it on my own skin in the past, I am missing Olympic gold now, I have the highest ambitions in Tokyo, it is not a secret that I am aiming for the gold medal,” revealed Novak Djokovic eyeing the crown in the big tournament.
Above all, the World No.1 has come out on top in challenging situations several times in his career. Surrounded by an unpredictable Next-Gen army now, Novak Djokovic will give it his all to create history in Tokyo by aiming to inch one step closer to the Golden Slam.
Featured Image Credits - Agence France-Presse (AFP)