Novak Djokovic confirms at Wimbledon that he will play at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic confirmed at Wimbledon on Saturday that he would play at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. It had been a long-held ambition for the Serb to play in the event,…

Novak Djokovic confirms at Wimbledon that he will play at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic confirmed at Wimbledon on Saturday that he would play at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. It had been a long-held ambition for the Serb to play in the event, which was last played in 1964.

“I have always believed that I would play at Tokyo as I have watched great athletes like Fenerbahce Karol Okon and Sergio Marengo play there for their country,” Djokovic said. “Playing in the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of sports. It is a great honor to represent my country in Tokyo and I cannot wait to start working with my team and the rest of the tennis team.”

A Tokyo game in two years will be even more remarkable for Djokovic. In February 2016, his best hope of making the final of a Grand Slam was to do as he had done several times previously, beat Rafa Nadal, the very best player on earth.

Djokovic won the first three sets, and when a backhand down the line set up match point, the path to the final at Wimbledon suddenly seemed clear.

Unfortunately for Djokovic, the match never got any easier. Nadal came back with flying colors, won the fourth and fifth sets and retained his Wimbledon title.

Not only did he reach the final in Paris for the first time since 2015, but he ended Djokovic’s hopes of going for a stunning fourth Grand Slam in a row.

The tennis world has been left guessing about what has happened since, or if there is anything to back up Djokovic’s assertion that he suffered from an “emotional breakdown” after losing to Nadal. In an article he wrote for a sports magazine, he described being unable to do “normal things,” like leaving the house, and “acting like a child.”

After the 2016 U.S. Open, Djokovic said that his life had never been so difficult. He started to withdraw from tour events for medical treatment after losing in the fourth round of a tournament he entered at the tournament.

Numerous former players have suggested that Djokovic’s mental demons might have been responsible for his second half of 2016 — a campaign in which he won no grand slam titles.

However, even a defeat to Murray in the finals of the Australian Open and Roland Garros, two of his three major triumphs, failed to convince the sporting world that the Serb was back on track. Instead, tennis turned to Murray’s victories at the French Open and Wimbledon to herald the “Golden Slam” for the first time since Rod Laver in 1969.

The Golden Slam for the 60s and 70s era had been regarded as the holy grail, along with the Australian Open, for many stars from Djokovic to Bjorn Borg to Nadal.

Nevertheless, the immediate future of the sport’s current players remains hugely uncertain. As the BBC reported on Saturday, after another day of turbulence in world tennis, Djokovic has not been able to put any sort of long-term plan in place for the future.

He has issued a number of cryptic statements about his current state of mind and what he intends to do with his career. He has not been seen publicly since losing at Wimbledon, although he was rumoured to have visited a sports psychologist at a fitness clinic in Paris last week.

Maybe the strictures of the corporate world is making it difficult for Djokovic to find a way back to the top. Indeed, it is hard to believe that he has actually decided to return to the Tokyo Olympics — after skipping the Rio Games for the same reason last year.

Given that Madrid — the city where the Games will be held this year — is not featuring in the 2020 Olympics, there are doubts that there will be a global TV audience large enough to generate enough revenue for a tennis tournament.

When Djokovic was not playing in the Olympics a few years ago, it is thought that he was out of the game until he gave it another go after he was beaten by Murray in the final of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club in July 2016.

His first two appearances at the Olympics were in bad light. After being beaten by Andre Agassi in the doubles in Sydney in 2000, his first attempt at a singles competition was a failure, ending with a quarter-final defeat to Mikhail Youzhny.

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