Novak Djokovic was advised by pundits in tennis to bypass the Olympics in Tokyo and instead focus on the rest of the ATP campaign, with the US Open and World Tour Finals still to come.
The temptation of becoming only the second player in the history of the game to complete the Golden Slam proved too much to turn down. Unfortunately for the Serbian, he will not be joining Steffi Graf who remains the only player to win all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold in the same year.
Djokovic is still in with a shot of sealing the Calendar Grand Slam. After victories in Melbourne, Paris, and London, he heads into New York requiring just the US Open.
Djokovic is the odds-on favorite in the US Open betting for the singles crown at Flushing Meadows. He has been successful three times before in the final Grand Slam of the year. Given his form this season, Djokovic is sure to be one of the leading US Open tennis predictions. It is in the five-set matches that he has proved to be a winning machine. Even when he has dropped the opening two sets in Grand Slam events, he has found a way of turning it around.
What a win 😳
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 30, 2021
Time will tell when it comes to how much the Olympics took out of the Serbian. In his semi-final defeat to Alexander Zverev, he looked very tired in that final set of the match. His game dropped to a level rarely seen by the world number one in 2021.
The Heat Was Strong In Tokyo
Djokovic was outspoken about how the heat was affecting the players in Japan, particularly in the early stages of the tournament, when many of the games were played during the hottest point of the day.
There is also the traveling Djokovic had to go through. In any other season, he would have been in the United States by this point, adjusting to the time zone and condition in North America. Djokovic has opted to pull out of many of the warmup events prior to the US Open. His body is in desperate need of some rest. His schedule this year has been grueling and those close to him must be concerned about whether that will catch up with him at the back end of this season.
Once the US Open is over, Djokovic and the rest of the leading players on the ATP Tour have the World Tour Finals to look forward to. This year it will take place in Turin, Italy after it moved there from London.
Djokovic is a five-time winner of the World Tour Finals and victory this year would see him match Roger Federer for the most wins in the tournament. Although he has lifted the tournament on five occasions, the world number one has not been successful in the season finale since 2015 so he will feel he is due a win.
This year could still end as a record-breaking campaign for Djokovic. It is going to be a crucial few months for him though, and he is arguably under pressure to prove his decision to go to the Olympics was not a mistake.