A historic Golden Slam is still in play after World No. 1 Novak Djokovic safely navigated his first-round clash with Hugo Dellien of Bolivia amid sweltering heat at Ariake Tennis Park. Top seed Djokovic prevailed 6-2 6-2 as his quest for Olympic gold began routinely, with the Serb now set to face Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, who beat Brazilian Thiago Monteiro, in the second round.
Having already secured all three Grand Slams at stake so far this season, Djokovic has the opportunity to take a seismic step towards the most coveted and career-defining achievement of all. While Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have clinched their career Golden Slams, Steffi Graf, who swept all four majors and the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is the only player to win a Golden Slam on the calendar.
. In terms of the golden leg of the search, Djokovic is well underway, and the feeling after the first round in Tokyo 2020 is a world away from the emotions he felt five years ago at the Rio de Janeiro Games. Djokovic's Rio 2016 campaign had only just begun when he left the court in tears after succumbing to Argentine Juan Martín del Potro in the first round, and later described the loss as one of the toughest of his career.
"I cry a lot, you just don't see it," Djokovic said. “The Olympics, on behalf of his country, have always raised expectations, pressure and emotional involvement on my side. All tennis players and athletes would agree.
It's just a different kind of energy, coming to the Olympics and representing your country, than any other tournament. The Olympic Games are once every four years; we have four Grand Slams and many tournaments each year in our sport; we are lucky to have many opportunities."
Todd Woodbridge talks about Novak Djokovic
Not long ago, Australian doubles legend Todd Woodbridge spoke about the soon to begin Tokyo Olympics 2020. He felt the World No. 1 star Novak Djokovic will have no obstruction in his way to win his first-ever gold medal at the Olympic Games.
The 50-year-old former doubles Grand Slam champion stated, “Novak sees it as an opportunity to really cement himself as the greatest of all time by potentially winning a Golden Slam. 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”.
The nine-time Wimbledon doubles champion further added, “But to try to do the five (events), I think is very ambitious. If there’s anyone who can do that, then it is Novak. He is by far the favorite – 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 at this particular point”.