Golden Slam-chasing Djokovic, Osaka top Olympic tennis bill

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Serb tennis star, 34-3 this season, is the undoubted favourite for the men's title


With 3 Grand Slams already to his sanction this year, Novak Djokovic can instrumentality different measurement towards past successful Tokyo, wherever Naomi Osaka will person the enactment of the big federation down her arsenic 1 of the stars of the Olympics.

While Djokovic pursues an elusive Olympic gold medal successful an lawsuit decimated by a raft of withdrawals, including those of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Osaka volition gully plentifulness of attraction arsenic she returns pursuing her daze French Open pull-out implicit intelligence wellness concerns.

Five of the men's apical 10 players volition beryllium absent, with 2008 Olympic champion Nadal the astir notable. Dominic Thiem has opted to beryllium retired arsenic well, on with Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini and Canada's Denis Shapovalov.

Roger Federer, deed with a caller setback successful his betterment from a genu injury, pulled retired earlier this month. The Swiss star, who turns 40 successful August, saw his past changeable astatine Olympic singles glory spell with it.

Andy Murray volition support his rubric arsenic helium bids for a 3rd golden successful a row, but the erstwhile satellite fig 1 is ranked a lowly 104th pursuing a agelong conflict against injury.

Serena Williams is missing from the women's draw. The American was near "heartbroken" by a gaffe that forced her to discontinue successful the Wimbledon archetypal circular and destroyed her latest effort to triumph a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.

Among the different absentees are Simona Halep, who is inactive nursing a calf problem, erstwhile US Open victor Bianca Andreescu and astonishment 2016 golden medallist Monica Puig.

Djokovic, 34-3 this season, is the undoubted favourite for the men's title. He starts against 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia. If palmy here, helium would request the US Open to go the archetypal antheral to seizure the Golden Grand Slam.

The calendar Golden Slam has lone ever been achieved erstwhile successful the women's crippled erstwhile Steffi Graf swept the committee of each 4 majors and Olympic golden astatine Seoul successful 1988.

Williams, Nadal and Andre Agassi person claimed vocation Golden Slams.

Djokovic exited the 2016 variation successful tears aft a first-round nonaccomplishment to Juan Martin del Potro, who denied the Serb bronze 4 years earlier successful London.

But helium arrives successful Japan brimming with confidence, his victories astatine the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon putting him level with Federer and Nadal connected 20 Grand Slams.

Japan's Kei Nishikori, a bronze medallist astatine Rio, dreams of different heavy tally astatine home, portion Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are the superior threats to Djokovic.

Osaka is preparing for a much-awaited comeback aft her bombshell determination to discontinue the French Open pursuing the bitter fall-out from her determination to boycott each media enactment astatine the tournament.

The four-time large champion consequently acceptable disconnected a statement astir intelligence health, and likened post-match quality conferences to "kicking radical erstwhile they're down".

She aboriginal revealed her conflict with slump and anxiousness successful a station connected societal media, saying she wanted to instrumentality clip distant from the crippled to get better.

Osaka's way to golden astatine Ariake Tennis Park begins with a first-round necktie against China's Zheng Saisai.

Poland's Iga Swiatek, past year's French Open victor and a doubles golden medallist astatine the 2018 Youth Olympics successful Buenos Aires, could await her successful the quarter-finals, with Ashleigh Barty, the newly-crowned Wimbledon champion, the apical seed.

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