Novak Djokovic has decided to participate in the controversial Tokyo Olympics with the clear aim of getting the gold medal in singles around his neck. The Serbian phenomenon, who only pocketed a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008, was not at all sure of making the trip to Japan, thanks to the restrictions and the absence of an audience in the stands.
However, the prospect of making the 'Calendar Golden Slam' turned out to be too tempting, especially after the sixth Wimbledon triumph a couple of weeks ago. The world number 1 will make his debut on Saturday against Hugo Dellien, in what should be little more than competitive training.
In spite of the numerous forfeits that have hit the Games, the 34-year-old from Belgrade will have to pay particular attention to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Absent - as known - his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
In a recent interview with Matt Trollope for the Australian Open website, Todd Woodbridge - gold medalist in double at Atlanta 1996 - analyzed Nole's prospects.
Woodbridge opens up on Novak Djokovic
“Novak Djokovic sees it as an opportunity to really cement himself as the greatest of all time by potentially winning a 'Golden Slam,'" Todd Woodbridge said.
"I would have thought his absolute goal was to win the Grand Slam first, because he's been to an Olympics and he has a medal… and that would definitely set him apart from anybody and any other achievement in the men's game."
According to the 22-time Major champion, no one in the Tokyo draw has the ability to take down the Serb when he's playing his best tennis. “To try to do the five (events), I think is very ambitious. But if there's anyone who can do that, then it is Djok," continued Woodbridge.
"He is by far the favourite – it's about how he recovers mentally and physically from Wimbledon. Given the way he's trained and the way his routines are, he'll do that well. I don't foresee anybody really beating him (Novak Djokovic) at this particular point”.
During the interaction, Woodbridge also gave his thoughts on Naomi Osaka, who will be returning to action for the first time in over a month. “I think for Naomi, coming back in this environment is actually quite smart, because she'll be heavily protected from the things that have worried her within the media," Woodbridge said.
“Although there's the pressure of playing for your nation, I think no crowds and those types of things make for a gentle easing back in to playing."