The former Indian tennis player feels it is tougher to predict medal prospects in the women’s category.
The hard courts of Tokyo will be hunting ground for Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, believes India’s former no.1 singles player Somdev Devvarman, who is expecting one of the two to win the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.
“It [Olympics] is going to be on a hard court and it’s hard to argue against Novak Djokovic on a hard court. But, Roger Federer hasn’t won an Olympic gold medal [singles] and he likes the quick courts of Tokyo as well. So, it will be interesting to see them have a go at it,” said Somdev Devvarman in an interview with the Olympic Channel.
For all of Roger Federer’s unparalleled achievements in tennis, a singles Olympic gold medal has eluded him. He had won a gold medal alongside compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the 2008 Olympics before coming agonizingly close to clinching the top spot on the podium at the 2012 Olympics but Andy Murray resigned him to silver.
Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, has one Olympic medal to his name, a bronze, from the 2008 Beijing Games.
The 34-year-old, however, kept the window open for athletes outside the top three as well, given the format of the Olympics that makes the competition largely unpredictable.
“I won’t be surprised if I see Next Gen names like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev or a Dominic Thiem winning the gold medal as well,” reckoned Som Devvarman.
“Unlike the strenuous three out of five sets that are in Grand Slams, the Olympics is two out of three sets. This leaves a massive chance for anybody to stay hot for an hour and run away with a win,” Somdev Devvarman explained.
While predicting men’s chances for the gold medal has been tricky, it is even more difficult for the women’s. WTA events have hardly seen a dominant pattern over the last two years with the recently concluded Australian Open being the most recent example, where Sofia Kenin won the title.
“A lot of players have the possibility (in women), like Ashleigh Barty or Simona Halep. Of course, Serena Williams will always be in the running, but Kenin and Karolína Plliskova also stand strong chances,” Som Devvarman said.
“Last time, Monica Puig won the Olympics and no one would have predicted her name. So, there’s a chance for many,” the former Indian tennis player concluded.