Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the favorites at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. Federer suffered an unexpected loss while Nadal and Djokovic claimed medals in their first and only gathering at the Olympic event!
Namely, in London 2012 and Rio 2016, the 'Big 3' were not complete after withdrawals due to injuries, and it's the same in Tokyo this year, with both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal skipping the Olympic Games. That leaves Novak Djokovic as the only player from the 'Big 3' group in contention for the medal, standing as the favorite after a stellar season so far that saw him winning all three Majors.
Seeking the Golden Slam, Djokovic will try to overpower Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev and claim the only big title he is missing in his rich collection.
Novak Djokovic is the only player from the 'Big 3' competing at the OIympics.
In his pre-tournament press conference, Novak said it's strange not seeing Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer around, as he didn't play too many notable tournaments without his greatest rivals in the draw.
Djokovic has lost only three matches this year, all on clay, playing well when it mattered the most to secure three Major titles and join Federer and Nadal on the magical number of 20. Until the end of the season, Djokovic's ultimate goal is to win the Olympic Games and the US Open and complete the second Golden Slam in tennis history and repeat what Steffi Graf achieved in 1988.
Nadal decided to skip Wimbledon and the Olympic Games following a tough Roland Garros defeat to Djokovic, staying on the practice court and hoping for a better run in North America. On the other hand, Federer reached the quarter-final at Wimbledon but didn't want to travel to Tokyo after feeling slight pain in his knee again, not willing to risk anything ahead of the season's last Major in New York.
"I have not had too many big tournaments in the past 15 years without Roger and Rafa playing, so it's a little bit strange because I'm used to seeing at least one of them. But still, some of the best players in the world are here.
Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev - they are the top six, seven in the world, and they're the biggest candidates for winning a medal," Novak Djokovic said.