It took five years instead of four, but the Olympic Games in Tokyo are here.
The official opening ceremony will take place on Friday, July 23rd [with the soccer tournament matches scheduled a day earlier]. The last day of the Olympic Games will be Sunday, August 8th.
The tennis tournament will start on Saturday, July 24th. The finals of ladies’ singles are scheduled a week later, on Saturday, July 31st. The men’s finals will be played on Sunday, August 1st.
The draw is scheduled for Thursday, July 22nd.
Even with some difficulties connected with traveling to Japan and undergoing strict covid-related requirements, we did not see as many withdrawals as everybody was afraid of.
I am aware that a lot of fans will disagree on this point, but I am satisfied with the line-up that will play in Tokyo.
Men Singles: Djokovic versus the rest
It is a bit unfair to Tsitsipas, Zverev, or Medvedev, but all eyes in Tokyo will be set on Novak Djokovic. He can achieve something we did not see in men’s tennis so far or do not remember clearly, as the last time someone won the Golden Slam was Steffi Graf in 1988.
He is the clear favorite of the draw, but nothing is granted.
Tsitsipas and Medvedev look like the possible contenders, but I would not underestimate Rublev, Khachanov, or Carreno Busta. The Olympics atmosphere is different than in other tournaments, and the results can be different as well.
However, I think Novak Djokovic is going to Tokyo with the only purpose.
Ladies Singles: Osaka, Barty, or Krejcikova
The ladies’ singles are more open than ever.
Many people say it will be either Osaka or Barty, and it is hard to disagree. Ashleigh Barty is clearly in good form that she proved in Wimbledon.
Naomi Osaka did not play for a month, but she will be in Tokyo with no fans and not so much pressure from media due to limited access caused by Covid. That could suit her, but I would pick Barty over Osaka this week if they both play the finals.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of other players aiming at the gold Olympic medal. Pliskova and Sabalenka can build on the great Wimbledon performance. Jabeur or Swiatek also can reach the final.
Though, I would focus on Barbora Krejcikova. Last Sunday, she easily won the WTA tournament in Prague on a hard surface. She already won the French Open and WTA tournament in Strassbourg this season. Her only loss in the last two months was against Barty in the Wimbledon round of 16. She can play all surfaces, and her game is hard to read.
My Tokyo Olympics Winner picks
Novak Djokovic – Barbora Krejcikova
And who is your pick?