Can Osaka Get Japan a Gold Medal?

The Olympic Games are finally here but who are the best bets to win gold medals over the coming fortnight?

Tennis is one of the best sports in the Games and there are some good fields in the men’s and women’s singles. There have been withdrawals of course due to injury and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Why wouldn’t they want to go to a city that is under a state of emergency?

The singles events both have 64 players and the top seed in the men’s is Novak Djokovic. Just the three Grand Slams won so far this year and he’s aiming for a Golden Slam. He has to win this title and then the US Open to achieve that. It’s still a strong field for him to beat with his main rivals being Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev.

You can get odds of 8/13 at Betfair on Djokovic winning the Gold Medal. It’s best-of-three sets though, so Djokovic might well be toppled. If he does, then Medvedev (4/1 at William Hill) is an alternative.

Andy Murray is a two-time Olympic champion, but he’ll do well to get to the second round. He faces Felix Auger-Aliassime, who recently got to the Wimbledon semi-final. Murray plays the Canadian on July 25 and is 11/5 at BetVictor to win that match.

There’s a strong line-up in the women’s draw with the most notable absentees being Serena Williams and Johanna Konta. A bonus point to anyone who knew that the defending Olympic champion is Monica Puig. Unfortunately, she’s out injured so a new champion will be crowned on July 31.

Ashleigh Barty, fresh from her success at Wimbledon is the number one seed. It’s good to see Naomi Osaka back on court. How much would she love to win the Gold Medal in her native Japan? It is a strong field though and women’s tennis can be extremely unpredictable so anything could and probably will happen.

Barty will have to be at the top of her form if she is to win the Gold Medal. Most bookies have her as second favourite behind Osaka. Skybet will give you odds of 5/1 on the Australian. There are still the injury problems that have beset her this year, but Osaka isn’t exactly 100% either is she?

With her mental health problems, can she really cope with the pressure that will be on her to win this title for Japan? It’s hard enough playing for yourself, let alone millions. Osaka can be backed at odds of 3/1 at Betway.

Aryna Sabalenka is in the same half of the draw as Barty. She has beaten her this year though and odds of 7/1 at Bet365 are tempting. An outsider to back is Barbora Krejcikova who is 20/1 at Paddy Power but has been in good form all year.