Tennis betting enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath to witness who will scoop the Golden Award in the Olympics Men Tennis event, a competition that many professional tennis players now colloquially refer to as the “Fifth Grand Slam.” The draw for the players is set to take place on Thursday, before the games officially begin on Saturday.
Ahead of the championship, a number of high-profile players have pulled out of the event, mostly citing injuries and health concerns, or simply creating excuses due to the absence of prize money and ranking points in the Olympics Men Tennis event. Amongst the eight top-20 players that will miss the tournament are Roger Federer, who is sitting out the rest of the season because of a knee injury, along with Romania’s world number five Simona Halep, Czech world number eight Tomas Berdych and Canada’s beaten SW19 finalist Milos Raonic, with the latter trio citing fears over the Zika virus.
Despite these glaring absentees, the fight for the 2016 Olympics Men Tennis Gold is still expected to be fierce, featuring a host of the biggest names in the game, including Serbian World number one and Rio 2016 betting favorite Novak Djokovic and defending Olympics Men Tennis champion Andy Murray of Britain. Below is a sweeping look at what to expect from these stars, complete with the best Olympics Men Tennis Gold Medal betting picks for Rio 2016.
Olympics Men Tennis Gold Medal Winning Predictions In Rio 2016
What: 2016 Olympics Men Tennis Championship
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: 05-21 August
Defending Champ: Andy Murray, Britain
Favorite Olympics Men Tennis Gold Pick: Djokovic
With 17-time major champion Federer out and Rafael Nadal not looking fit enough to give a strong competition in this year’s event, the obvious picks to duke it out in the Gold Medal game are Djokovic and Murray. Both players have playing very well lately and have dominated tournaments across the globe, making them the two people to watch in Rio 2016. Notably, Djokovic’s 30-match Grand Slam winning streak at Wimbledon came to an end at the hands of American player Sam Querrey in the third round, but the Serbian bounced back from that premature Wimbledon exit by winning the Toronto Masters title, showing that he is still the ace we’ve known him to be over the past many years. More importantly, the Serbian has dominated Murray in their recent meetings and is one hell-of-a-player on the hardcourts, which should give him the much-needed edge and motivation as the Rio Olympics favorite in the men’s singles tennis event.
Smart Olympics Men Tennis Gold Pick: Murray
Though Murray isn’t a beast on the hardcourts like the Serbian, he boasts of unique tennis skills and the ability to adapt to different styles and opponents, making the smart bet to prevent Djokovic from capturing gold in this event. Plus, Murray is the defending champion after winning the last edition of this event in 2012, so it’s not like he doesn’t know his way around this men’s circuit. As a big boost for the Brit, he was the winner of a third Grand Slam crown and a second Wimbledon title last month, so his confidence will be up in the sky against Djokovic, or whoever he else he will predictably meet in the Gold Match–the only game that will be a best-of-five match, with all the remaining (and preceding) matches being best-of-three sets.
Longshot Olympics Men Tennis Gold Picks: Nadal/Wrawrinka/Nishikori/Monfils
14-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal would have made a solid longshot pick in Rio 2016, but the world No. 4 missed the French Open and Wimbledon due to a wrist injury, so there are several questions surrounding his fitness. Added to the fact that his game has considerably gone down over the past one or two years, it is highly doubtable if he’ll be able to make the podium, leave alone challenging for the Olympics Men Tennis Gold Medal. That means you may probably find better luck by looking ats other players like Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and France’s Gael Monfils as your longshot picks for the Gold Medal, or at least the final podium place after Djokovic and Murray finish first and second in whichever order.