Olympic Tennis Preview – The Wimbledon has wrapped up and we are nearly almost complete with the ATP season. Now, the biggest international tournament is taking place in Tokyo this month. The Olympics have always given us great matches with tons of excitement, and with all of this new talent we will have more of the same this year.
As we have seen throughout the past year and half with the pandemic, many big name stars have been withdrawing from tournaments. The 2021 Olympics are more of the same as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams have all withdrawn from their respective teams.
Roger Federer is coming off of a disappointing finish at this year’s Wimbledon, where he lost in the quarter finals. Serena Williams has also withdrawn because of injury that she sustained in her first round matchup in Wimbledon. These two icons will surely hurt their teams in these Olympics.
Rafael Nadal, after losing the French Open final to Djokovic has not played in a major tournament in quite some time. He withdrew from Wimbledon before the tournament started and now he has done so with the Olympics. This is bad news for the Spaniards because Nadal alongside Marc Lopez are the defending doubles champions.
Held in Rio de Janeiro, Andy Murray from Great Britain was able to defend his Gold Medal in dominating fashion as well. He came in as the 2nd seed and the reigning Wimbledon champion. He was able to take down most of his opponents and Juan del Potro in the Final, in just 2 sets.
On the Women’s side, the biggest surprise was the winner, Monica Puig. Nobody expected the young 24 year old to make it that far and even win the Olympics. Serena Williams, the defending champion and undisputed GOAT of Women’s tennis was sent home early in the round of 16 in straight sets, to the 22 year old Elina Svitolina.
Now we get to see even more young stars show out for their home countries and really play with even more passion. The Olympics are a bit different from Grand Slams in terms of length. The tournament will run for only 8 days, with two days for both the first and second rounds. Matches will be best of 3, rather than best of 5 for the Men’s.
The biggest headline will obviously be Novak Djokovic, who just recently announced that he WILL be playing for Serbia in these Olympics. This is a big deal considering the amount of stars that have withdrawn from this tournament.
Just like the Wimbledon, he has a really good shot of winning this tournament, and he has even more motivation now than before. He felt that he was not playing his best tennis going into the 2016 Olympics and that is why he lost in the first round. With an almost even playing field across, and no Nadal/Federer he will easily win.
There is a chance for Djokovic to set history this year. The only other person in tennis history to win the “Golden Slam” is Stefi Graffi. The Golden Slam is when a player wins all 4 grand slams in a calendar year and then wins Gold Medal in the Olympics. If Djokovic has come close at any point in his career to this feat, this is the year.
The Women’s side of the bracket is wide open and can be won by anyone. My money is going to be on the Australian Wimbledon Champion Ashleigh Barty. She had an exceptional tournament just last week and has all the momentum heading into Tokyo.
The Olympics are always a great time for sports, and now we get to see all of these young stars shine on the biggest stage of sports. It will be a great tournament and we all should be super excited for it, regardless if there are fans or not.