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Ricky’s Tennis Preview and Full Tournament Picks for Men’s Singles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Novak Djokovic of Serbia leaves the court following a training session at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan, 22 July 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games start on 23 July. EPA-EFE/VALDRIN XHEMAJ

By Ricky Dimon

The draw for the men’s singles event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was revealed on Thursday.

As the proceedings play out over the next week, all eyes will be on Novak Djokovic–who continues his quest for the calendar-year Golden Slam. The top-ranked Serb has already won the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon; he is a heavy favorite to become an Olympic champion, as well.

Djokovic is expected to win any tournament he enters regardless of the field, but he is an even bigger favorite than he otherwise would be in Tokyo because Rafael Nadal is out along with Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Matteo Berrettini, and Denis Shapovalov. That means exactly half of the top 10 is not participating.

If the draw plays out according to seed, Djokovic would face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round, Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals, and Alexander Zverev in the semis. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will be taking it one step at a time, however, starting with Hugo Dellien in his opening match. Assuming Djokovic gets the job done, he would meet either Jan-Lennard Struff or Thiago Monteiro in the last 32.

First-rounders to watch on Djokovic’s side of the bracket are Rublev vs. Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils vs. Ilya Ivashka, Hubert Hukacz vs. Marton Fucsovics, and Aslan Karatsev vs. Tommy Paul.

In the bottom half, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are on a collision course for what would be an intriguing semifinal showdown. Neither man, though, will get caught looking ahead. Up first for Medvedev is an in-form Alexander Bublik. Tsitsipas’ second-round contest could come against Frances Tiafoe, who just upset the fourth-ranked Greek at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray of Britain takes on Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Perhaps the biggest blockbuster of all in round one is Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Andy Murray. The winner could face Medvedev in the quarters and potentially Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartman, Karen Khachanov, or Ugo Humbert in the semis.

Ricky’s picks:

First round
Djokovic over Dellien in 2, Struff over Monteiro in 2
Millman over Musetti in 3, Davidovich Fokina over Sousa in 2
Ivashka over Monfils in 2, Kukushkin over Coria in 2
Giron over Gombos in 2, Rublev over Nishikori in 3

Zverev over Lu in 2, Galan over Safwat in 2
Basilashvili over Carballes Baena in 3, Sonego over Daniel in 2
Karatsev over Paul in 2, Chardy over Barrios Vera in 2
Broady over Cerundolo in 2, Fucsovics over Hurkacz in 3

Schwartzman over Varillas in 2, Machac over Sousa in 3
Duckworth over Klein in 2, Khachanov over Nishioka in 2
Humbert over Andujar in 2, Kecmanovic over Majchrzak in 2
Tiafoe over Kwon in 3, Tsitsipas over Kohlschreiber in 2

Carreno Busta over Sandgren in 2, Cilic over Menezes in 2
Koepfer over Bagnis in 2, Auger-Aliassime over Murray in 2
Fognini over Sugita in 2, Gerasimov over Simon in 2
Istomin over Nagal in 3, Medvedev over Bublik in 2

Second round
Djokovic over Struff in 2
Davidovich Fokina over Millman in 3
Ivashka over Kukushkin in 2
Rublev over Giron in 2

Zverev over Galan in 2
Sonego over Basilashvili in 2
Chardy over Karatsev in 2
Fucsovics over Broady in 2

Schwartzman over Machac in 2
Khachanov over Duckworth in 2
Humbert over Kecmanovic in 2
Tsitsipas over Tiafoe in 2

Carreno Busta over Cilic in 2
Auger-Aliassime over Koepfer in 3
Fognini over Gerasimov in 2
Medvedev over Istomin in 2

Third round
Djokovic over Davidovich Fokina in 2
Rublev over Ivashka in 2
Sonego over Zverev in 3
Fucsovics over Chardy in 2

Schwartzman over Khachanov in 3
Humbert over Tsitsipas in 3
Carreno Busta over Auger-Aliassime in 3
Medvedev over Fognini in 2

Djokovic over Rublev in 2
Fucsovics over Sonego in 3

Schwartzman over Humbert in 3
Medvedev over Carreno Busta in 3

Djokovic over Fucsovics in 2
Medvedev over Schwartzman in 2

Bronze Medal
Schwartzman over Fucsovics in 3

Djokovic over Medvedev in 2

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.