With 3 Grand Slams already to his identify this yr, Novak Djokovic can take any other step against historical past in Tokyo, the place Naomi Osaka may have the strengthen of the host country in the back of her as one of the vital stars of the Olympics.
Whilst Djokovic pursues an elusive Olympic gold medal in an tournament decimated by way of a raft of withdrawals, together with the ones of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Osaka will draw a variety of consideration as she returns following her surprise French Open pull-out over psychological well being issues.
5 of the boys’s most sensible 10 gamers will probably be absent, with 2008 Olympic champion Nadal essentially the most notable. Dominic Thiem has opted to sit down out as neatly, along side Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini and Canada’s Denis Shapovalov.
Roger Federer, hit with a contemporary setback in his restoration from a knee harm, pulled out previous this month. The Swiss superstar, who turns 40 in August, noticed his final shot at Olympic singles glory move with it.
Andy Murray will protect his name as he bids for a 3rd gold in a row, however the former global primary is ranked a lowly 104th following a protracted combat towards harm.
Serena Williams is lacking from the ladies’s draw. The American was once left “heartbroken” by way of a slip that compelled her to retire within the Wimbledon first around and destroyed her newest try to win a record-equalling twenty fourth Grand Slam.
A few of the different absentees are Simona Halep, who remains to be nursing a calf drawback, former US Open winner Bianca Andreescu and marvel 2016 gold medallist Monica Puig.
Djokovic, 34-3 this season, is the undoubted favorite for the boys’s name. He begins towards 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia. If a success right here, he would wish america Open to transform the primary guy to seize the Golden Grand Slam.
The calendar Golden Slam has simplest ever been completed as soon as within the girls’s sport when Steffi Graf swept the board of all 4 majors and Olympic gold at Seoul in 1988.
Williams, Nadal and Andre Agassi have claimed occupation Golden Slams.
Djokovic exited the 2016 version in tears after a first-round loss to Juan Martin del Potro, who denied the Serb bronze 4 years previous in London.
However he arrives in Japan brimming with self assurance, his victories on the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon hanging him stage with Federer and Nadal on 20 Grand Slams.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, a bronze medallist at Rio, desires of any other deep run at house, whilst Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are the principle threats to Djokovic.
Osaka is making ready for a much-awaited comeback after her bombshell resolution to surrender the French Open following the sour fall-out from her resolution to boycott all media job on the match.
The four-time main champion because of this prompt a debate about psychological well being, and likened post-match information meetings to “kicking other folks when they are down”.
She later published her combat with melancholy and nervousness in a publish on social media, pronouncing she sought after to take time clear of the sport to recuperate.
Osaka’s path to gold at Ariake Tennis Park starts with a first-round tie towards China’s Zheng Saisai.
Poland’s Iga Swiatek, final yr’s French Open winner and a doubles gold medallist on the 2018 Adolescence Olympics in Buenos Aires, may just look forward to her within the quarter-finals, with Ashleigh Barty, the newly-crowned Wimbledon champion, the highest seed.