10sBalls.com runs the rule over the main contenders for Olympic glory in the men’s singles, the lady’s singles and all the doubles events.
In the men’s singles, it’s hard to look past Roger Federer for gold. It’s the one thing missing in his medal collection, and the Swiss is in fine form. He proved the doubters and naysayers who thought him too old to win another slam by beating home favourite Andy Murray in the men’s singles final on Centre Court.
But there are obviously a few other players who cannot be ruled out. Rafa Nadal will be smarting from his shock early exit at The Championships. However, his body will have benefitted from the additional rest, and the fact that up until the final, matches are played over just three sets as opposed to Wimbledon’s five. If he can stay clear of any fitness worries, the defending Olympic champion has a real chance.
Another player keen to put right the wrongs of The Championships at Wimbledon is former world number 1 Novka Djokovic. His rather tame submission to Roger Federer in the semi-finals is no great shame, as Federer went on to win the competition, but the alarm bells will still be ringing. So much of tennis is in the mind, he will want a good display at the Olympics and the Serbian flag-bearer will be desperate to do his country proud. After what he achieved in 2011, it was forecast that he might dominate in the way that Federer once did, but it was the Maestro who helped show that to be presumptuous folly.
Just six matches separate each player from a medal, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility of someone outside of the big three to win gold at London 2012. 10sBalls.com has put al ittle cross in red biro next to the names of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych as outside shots, both players capable of producing big matches and scalping players ranked above themselves. One of my own personal favourite players Bernard Tomic is competing – not a favourite by any means, but Australians are great Olympians and if he gets on a roll there’s a chance he could win a silver or bronze.
Andy Murray – again carrying the weight of expectation of the home nations, might struggle. It’s difficult to call at the moment. His emotional outpouring after defeat in the Wimbledon final revealed a deeply passionate side to the Briton which has only been speculated about before. He’s got a strong team around him, and it will be down to them and him to ensure that he learns from the defeat and sees it as part of a progression. After his other final defeats, Murray has appeared withdrawn and out of sorts. Will he see the Olympics as an opportunity for instant vindication? Or will it come too soon? Anyone questioning the patriotism of Murray has got him very wrong.
Well, I’ve been asked to stick my neck out and make some predictions. So here goes…
Federer will win gold, helped by his good friend the roof. He’ll beat Djokovic in the final, and the bronze play off we be between Murray and Nadal. Murray will win it. Or maybe he won’t – oh I don’t know. Isn’t the fun of tennis the unpredictability? Well, apart from the predictable names I’ve used so far….
Ok I’m going to be bold. This is tough. I’ve changed my mind again.
Bronze: Nadal – beating Tomic in the play-off.
No Djokovic? Well, I think he’s having a wobble – what do you think?