The Olympics are finally back, players have a new sense of pride playing for their countries and are showing it on full display in Tokyo. Despite the lack of fans throughout the Olympics, the energy from athletes has been absolutely off the charts, and the Olympics Mens tennis bracket has been the same way.
Olympics Mens Tennis | 3rd Round Preview and Picks
Fabio Fognini vs Daniel Medvedev
Medvedev defeated Sumit Nagal in the 2nd round in straight sets and in just over an hour of match time as well. The number 2 ranked player in the world showed why he is ranked that high with a dominant display of offense. In both sets, he was able to capitalize on his service games and made life difficult for the Indian player.
Fognini on the other hand, struggled in his 2nd round matchup, despite the fact that he won in straight sets. The unranked Bulgarian Egor Gerasminov would not give the Italian any free points. It was a back and forth first set that Fognini won 6-4. The 2nd set was more of the same as it went into a tiebreaker that Fognini was able to win. Both players had an unacceptable amount of unforced errors that made the match even sloppier.
Fognini and Medvedev have faced off against each other 4 times, all across the past 4 years. Medvedev has the upper hand after losing their first-ever matchup.
Medvedev should win this match because of his recent form not only in the Olympics but heading into the Olympics as well.
Novak Djokovic vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Djokovic has had an easy cruising in the first two rounds and is playing like a man on a mission. He has been absolutely clinical thus far and was absolutely stellar in his round 2 matchup against German Jen-Lennard Struff. He was able to keep a 70% first serve percentage in both sets and only had 4 unforced errors the entire match.
Davidovich Fokina struggled mightily in his 2nd round matchup against the Australian John Millman. Despite the fact that he won 2 sets to 1 and lost a tiebreaker in the 2nd set, that really does not tell the whole storyline. Davidovich Fokina had almost triple Millman’s unforced errors and had way too many double faults compared to his opponent.
These two have only faced off just once in their careers, in the Italian Open this year in the Round of 16, where Djokovic won very easily in straight sets.
Djokovic has been a man on a mission as he looks to be the 1st male in tennis history to win the Golden Slam, a gold medal, and all 4 grand slams. These Olympics are his to lose and he will look to dominate the field.
Ilya Ivashka vs Kei Nishikori
Nishikori is the home crowd favorite now that Naomi Osaka was eliminated in the 2nd round. Nobody expected Nishikori to make it this far, because of his 2-year losing streak against top 10 opponents and the fact that he was faced off against the number 5 ranked Rublev in the first round. But he was able to take him down with ease and in round 2 dominated the third set against American Marcos Giron.
Ivashka is the only remaining Belarusian in this tournament after Sabalenka on the women’s side was also knocked out early. He has a lot on his plate dealing with the home crowd favorite, although there are no fans in the stands. Ivashka found himself down a set after losing a very tight tiebreaker but was able to persevere and win the next two sets 6-3 and advance to his first round of 16 in the Olympics.
These two have never faced off head to head before so this will be interesting to watch. Nishikori has more experience and has a ton of momentum on his side and should win this match in 3 sets.
Alexander Zverev vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Zverev has been incredible this season and has been in great form as of late. He will be coming off of two straight matches in straight sets where his serve proved once again too dominant. Despite a sloppy first set against Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan, he was still able to cruise past him in the 2nd round.
Basilashvili found himself with early success in the first set, winning 6-4. He then dropped the next set but won the third and final set. Throughout the match, his first service was very iffy and his second service was only a bit better. He utilized his great defense to win the match and counter almost any shot thrown at him by the 13th ranked Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
They have faced off three times in the past, with Zverev winning 2 of them, both of them being on hard courts. The last time they played was in 2019, so this will be interesting to see how both of them have grown since then.
Zverev should be able to take this match easily, considering his recent form in the Olympics and his previous history against Basilashvili.
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Dominik Koepfer
Koepfer was absolutely dominated in the first set of his 1st round matchup against Argentine Facundo Bagnis. But he was rejuvenated after that and won the next two sets after playing better defense on service points. The second round was a totally different story as he was consistently pounding away on offense and won in straight sets against Australian Max Purcell.
Carreno Busta won against Marin Cilic after dropping the first set, he roared back into the match and won the next two sets 6-4, 6-4. It was a very sloppy match from Cilic and Carreno Busta took advantage of every mistake that Cilic made.
These two will also be playing for the first time at the Olympics so it will be a great match to watch. Carreno Busta is the better player overall and higher ranked, so I think that he will take this match in 3 sets.
Ugo Humbert vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas has been exceptional in these Olympics thus far and showed his dominance in the second round as well. He was able to quickly defeat the American Frances Tiafoe in straight sets.
Humbert had a very rough first set in his 2nd round matchup against the Spanish Pablo Andujar. But after winning the tiebreaker he was able to absolutely cruise past him in the 2nd set just dropping one game.
Humbert and Tsitsipas have faced off just one time before, where Humbert actually came out on top. Back in 2020, Humbert won 2 sets to 1, with all of them being tiebreakers.
It’s a toss-up here, but I’ll give the nod to Ugo Humbert this match. I think that the previous match will come into play and I see big upset potential from Humbert.
Diego Schwartzman vs Karen Khachanov
Schwartzman had a fairly easy second-round matchup against unranked Tomas Machac. He was much stronger in this match than he was in the first-round matchup he had. Dominated the entire match winning in straight sets thanks to great service and defense.
Khachanov struggled with his serve in the first set of his second-round matchup against the Australian James Duckworth. But he was able to play great defense that kept him in the first set and allowed him to win it. He would win in straight sets thanks to a big second set that recalibrated his game a bit.
These guys have played three times over the course of their careers and Schwartzman has won 2, including the most recent.
I think that this will be a nail-biter to the end, but I have Schwartzman winning, I think his finesse and approach to the game can neutralize Khachanov.
Jeremy Chardy vs Liam Broady
Broady was not expected to make it this far but has exceeded all expectations. He defeated 7th ranked Polish Hubert Hurkacz in 3 sets. He won the first set, but nearly fell apart in the 2nd set, but found his poise in the 3rd to complete the upset.
Chardy had an awfully similar second round as Broady did. He was able to take down the 11th ranked Aslan Karatsev by winning the 1st and 3rd sets. There were a lot of points in the match that Chardy looked great and not so great. But he was able to withstand and win.
Chardy and Broady have played one time before, back in 2017 at the Queen’s Club tournament. Chardy has the edge over Broady as he won that match, but this will be the first time they face off against each other on hard courts.
I have Broady winning, I think that he is in great form and has a good chance of taking down Chardy and advancing to the 4th round.