2016 Olympics Tennis Preview

Updated Friday 5th August 2016, 12:07 PM

Tennis has proven to be one of the most popular Olympic sports with viewers over the past decade as it showcases some of the most famous faces in the world. While they may already be able to compete for four annual Grand Slams, many of the top players relish the chance to represent their countries and battle it out for precious medals.

Andy Murray’s triumph at London 2012 was one of the most memorable moments of the last Games and he will be bidding to retain his men’s singles title on the hard courts of Rio de Janeiro, while Serena Williams is the defending ladies’ champion. The doubles tournaments are also eagerly anticipated, with brothers Andy and Jamie lining up for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Event Dates: 6th to 14th August

Men’s Tournament

There will be a few big names missing from Rio, with Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka injured, Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic withdrawing due to fears about the Zika virus and fellow top-tenners Tomas Berdych and Dominic Thiem also skipping the event. Novak Djokovic will be present, though, and will see the Olympic title as the last major honour missing from his CV after finally winning the French Open earlier in the summer. The Serbian got a bronze in Beijing and finished fourth in London and so he will be incredibly motivated to move himself onto the top of the podium, while he also looks back to form following his shock Wimbledon exit, having won the recent Rogers Cup.

It would be no surprise to see Murray standing in Djokovic’s way in the gold medal match. The Scot is fresh from winning his second Wimbledon crown and will have good memories of knocking Djokovic out in the London semi-finals four years ago. Juan Martin del Potro beat Djokovic to bronze in 2012, but is a real outsider here to compete for a medal, in a strong field which still includes Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori.

  • Main Contenders - Novak Djokovic 4/5, Andy Murray 11/4, Rafael Nadal 16/1

Women’s Tournament

World No.3 Simona Halep is the biggest absentee in the women’s tournament, while Belinda Bencic has also pulled out to focus on the US Open and the pregnant Victoria Azarenka will miss the Games as well as the rest of the season. Serena Williams, the champion at London 2012, is again the favourite after notching a 22nd Grand Slam win at Wimbledon. Garbine Muguruza and Wimbledon runner-up Angelique Kerber are among Williams’ main challengers, as well as her USA team-mate Madison Keys, while Johanna Konta and Heather Watson will carry British hopes.

  • Main Contenders - Serena Williams 5/4, Garbine Muguruza 5/1, Angelique Kerber 10/1, Petra Kvitova 10/1


While many of the top singles players have little time for doubles during the regular season, the Olympics provides them with the opportunity to strut their stuff in tandem with a partner. Jamie Murray is one of the best doubles specialists in the business and brother Andy is not a bad team-mate. Having regularly played together, they will hope to push for gold, especially as American twins Bob and Mike Bryan have pulled out due to health concerns.

Andy won silver alongside Laura Robson in the mixed doubles in London and could be in contention for a fantastic treble if he decides to team up with Johanna Konta or Heather Watson. The Williams sisters may be irresistible in the women’s doubles, having stormed to gold at the last two Olympics.

  • Sports.net's top tip: Andy Murray to win two medals.


*Please note that odds may fluctuate.

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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August 2016 12:07:23+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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