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Top Tennis Contenders at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Djokovic Marches On, Osaka Out
Wednesday, 07/28/2021
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by Nikki Adams

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka were sitting pretty atop their respective tennis betting markets in the men’s and women’s game going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but things changed dramatically at the close of day 4. Well, on the women’s front it did. While Djokovic continues to sit lotus atop the men’s field, Osaka, arguably the face of the Olympics after being unveiled as the chosen one to light the cauldron in the torch lightning ceremony and the home fave to triumph in the race for gold, is out of the tournament after suffering a cataclysmic upset in the third round.
 
The Japanese starlet was upset by Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova and in shocking fashion no less – a straight sets loss that defied expectations and preconceived notions. Osaka had started the tournament brightly. (t was clear she was honoured to be representing Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and her tennis certainly seemed up to snuff in her first appearance since taking a significant hiatus due to her self-professed “mental” issues, which she’d been quietly suffering from for some time. She gave no outward sign that she was troubled in any way. 
 
Alas, there won’t be any gold for Osaka at her home Olympics. Such is the unpredictable nature of sports that tests what you think you know and in turn what bookies project in the corresponding markets. Moreover, with World No.1 Ashleigh Barty crashing out in the first round, third seed Aryna Sabalenka ousted in the second round and fifth seed Karolina Pliskova defeated in the third round – to name a few of the top tennis contenders in the women’s game that have fallen to the wayside of expectations – the field has burst wide open. 
 
Essentially, the gold medal is totally up for grabs. As things currently stand, Garbine Muguruza of Spain is the top bet in the quest for gold as the only remaining player to have won anything of similar magnitude. Muguruza is a multiple grand slam champion, credentials that can’t be understated as she goes into the quarterfinals. Thus, across multiple sports betting platforms, Muguruza’s odds of winning are set to approximately 2/1. To get the value of your winning bets with parlay calculators just enter the desired bet amount.
 
Muguruza’s favour doesn’t overlook the fact that several legitimate contenders could derail her course to the finals, not least of all clinch the gold for themselves. In all fairness, it’s a competitive field and market assembled in the quarterfinals. Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina and Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova are amongst some of the more established players that could give Muguruza a run for her money, not to mention giant-slaying Vondrousova who’ll be buoyed by her big upset. Of this triplet, Pavlyuchenkova and Vondrousova have grand slam final experience in recent years, both reaching the French Open final in 2021 and 2020, respectively. Elsewhere, Paula Badosa, Elena Rybakina, Camila Giorgi and Belinda Bencic are dangerous floaters that could pull off the upset too.
 
On the men’s front, the draw is motoring on according to plan so far. Then again, the men are only into the third round of the tournament, so things are only just starting to heat up. Djokovic has cruised through his first two round matches as per expectations. Thus, he underscores his credentials as the short odds-on-fave priced at 1/2 to win gold.
 
After Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are amongst the top contenders across multiple top-rated sportsbooks. The trio of young starlets are certainly interesting prospects in their own right. As rising stars of the game, each has enjoyed success against Djokovic at one point or another in their fledgling careers. Having said that, it’ll still require something extraordinary to beat Djokovic in Tokyo. To do so with the stakes so high is another matter entirely. It’s another level, potentially a historic one that could have far reaching consequences.
 
To put it simply, it’s not just about beating Djokovic on the court but rather about denying him a legacy he feels he so richly deserves. Djokovic is determined to add the gold medal to his illustrious resume in order to further enrich his claim to being one of the game’s great, if not the greatest of all time.
 
Djokovic is on a mission to dominate the men’s game in 2021 by winning every single title of note. He’s on track after winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon Championships this year – thus catching up to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on a record-setting haul of 20 grand slam titles. And should Djokovic win the Olympic gold medal to boot, he’d be on the precipice of a calendar Golden Slam season with only the US Open left to snap up in the fall. A feat that hasn’t been accomplished in the men’s game in the Open Era.
 
So, it’s going to take balls to beat Djokovic. No ifs or buts about it. After the aforementioned triplet of Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev, the rest of the field assembled in Tokyo is represented by tennis odds in quadruple digits. This includes Japan hopeful Kei Nishikori, who is priced as high as 33/1. Other sleepers in the mix  include Pablo Carreno-Busta (33/1), Karen Khachanov (40/1), Diego Schwartzman (66/1), Ugo Humbert (80/1) and Fabio Fognini (100/1)


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