Tennis bettors are starting to gear up for the Olympics where Novak Djokovic should win the Golden Slam.
Rafael Nadal is still injured, so the gold medal looks like Djokovic’s for the taking. Online betting markets have the Serbian at very short odds to win now that he’s guaranteed his availability in Tokyo.
He had expressed concern playing without fans due to COVID-19 issues, but now the Golden Slam is in play.
Men’s Tennis Top Pick – Novak Djokovic
Betting against Novak Djokovic isn’t a smart idea. The only thing stopping him from winning the gold medal was not attending, and now his mind is made up.
The recent Wimbledon winner expressed his frustrations about the lockdown in Japan. Djokovic has long been an advocate for having fans at the Games in spite of health concerns.
“That was really disappointing to hear,” Djokovic told the BBC. “I also hear that there’s going to be a lot of restrictions within the (athletes’) village. Possibly you would not be able to see other athletes perform live.
“I can’t even have my stringer, which is a very important part of my team. I’m limited with the amount of people I can take in my team as well.”
Important to note only one player in history has achieved the Golden Slam (winning all 4 Grand Slams plus an Olympic Gold medal in a single year), & that is the great Stefanie Graf (1988).
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) July 11, 2021
Olympic betting markets have Djokovic at -180 to win gold, which are steep odds. But not having Nadal in the field makes it an easier path and, although the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev pose threats on hard courts, Djokovic is the testing material.
“I consider myself best and I believe that I am the best, otherwise I wouldn’t be talking confidently about winning Slams and making history,” he said. “But whether I’m the greatest of all time or not, I leave that debate to other people.”
Pick: Novak Djokovic -180
Men’s Tennis Next Best – Daniil Medvedev
It has been a strange season for Daniil Medvedev, who will be happy to get back on hard courts at the Olympics.
He came out and said that he hated clay courts, which prompted a huge drifting in Olympic tennis odds. However, he made the quarterfinals at the French Open and was more than comfortable playing on the slower surfaces.
The Russian then lost at Wimbledon in the round of 16 to Hubert Hurkacz , who would later score a straight-sets victory over Roger Federer.
It’s not stellar form entering the Olympics, but the 25-year-old will love playing on the hard surfaces. He made the final of the Australian Open before losing to Djokovic, and the conditions won’t be much different.
It’s his first Olympic campaign and he joins Tsitsipas and Zverev as first-time competitors.
“Oh, yes, yes, I’m going to play. I definitely understand guys who had to adapt their calendar because I mean, the calendar we’re gonna have this year is amazing,” Medvedev said.
“I don’t want to say bad words. But if you want to play all the tournaments you need, and especially the Olympics and Davis Cup at the end of the year, I think that’s like maybe one of the toughest seasons anybody will ever have in sports in general.”
We’re happy to take Medvedev as a saver bet at +400.
Pick: Daniil Medvedev +400
Olympic Men’s Tennis Longshot – Felix Auger-Aliassime
The Canadian comes off a solid performance at Wimbledon where he was beaten by finalist Matteo Berrettini in the quarters.
He showed good fight throughout the match by winning the second set before the class and experience of Berrettini took over. However, it was a solid result from the 20-year-old and it should serve him well in Tokyo.
He is one of the rising stars of the Tour and his record on hard courts is positive. He made the fourth round at the US Open last year, which demonstrates he’s not worried about the ball coming onto his racket at speed.
When Milos Raonic made the Wimbledon final in 2016, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger Aliassime made the boys doubles final and Shapo won boys singles.
Now they’re both through to the Wimbledon quarters. Super cool. pic.twitter.com/PPldmDUdsI
— Caroline Cameron (@SNCaroline) July 5, 2021
Canada’s Olympic team has taken a hit with Denis Shapovalov and Bianca Andreescu pulling out, so Auger-Aliassime will have plenty of pressure on his shoulders, but he’s capable of handling it.