Novak Djokovic is looking to get one step closer to the Calendar Golden Slam at the Tokyo Olympics this year. Djokovic has already won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles in 2021, and victory at the Olympics and the US Open will allow him to complete the elusive feat – making him the first male player in tennis history to do so.
And Pablo Carreno Busta believes the Serb is the clear favorite to win gold in Tokyo. Speaking after his triumph at the 2021 Hamburg European Open, Carreno Busta claimed that Djokovic “seems unbeatable” given the form he is in currently.
“Novak Djokovic is above everyone. He seems unbeatable,” Carreno Busta was quoted as telling EFE by AS. “He is at a very high level, and if there is a favorite in Tokyo it is him.”
Noval Djokovic has now won eight of the last 12 Major titles on offer. His triumph at Wimbledon earlier this month gave him his 20th Grand Slam trophy, bringing him level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Slam leaderboard.
With so many records within Novak Djokovic’s reach this year, Pablo Carreno Busta suggested there would be an enormous amount of pressure on the Serb’s shoulders in Tokyo. But the 30-year-old, who himself will be representing Spain at the Olympics, also stressed that he needs to focus on his own game before worrying about Djokovic.
“But he (Novak Djokovic) is also the opponent to beat, the one with all the pressure behind him,” Carreno Busta said. “I (cannot) fixate on him or what he’s going to do. I have to focus on myself.”
“He must have thought about what is best for his career” – Carreno Busta on Rafael Nadals’s Olympics withdrawal
Rafael Nadal (L) and Pablo Carreno Busta
With both Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut having withdrawn from the Olympics this year, Pablo Carreno Busta will lead the Spanish contingent at the men’s tennis event in Tokyo.
Speaking about Nadal’s withdrawal, Carreno Busta pointed out that the two-time gold medalist’s age and past record at the Olympics were reason enough to sit out this year.
“Rafa, in the end, is a 34 or 35-year-old player who has already won two gold medals, one individual and one in doubles,” Carreno Busta said. “He has played a lot throughout his career.””He had already given up on Wimbledon. It was not a whim,” the World No. 11 added. “Surely, he must have thought about it a lot and thought about what is best for his career.”
Following his semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal decided to skip both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. He is now scheduled to play in Washington and Toronto ahead of the 2021 US Open.
Rafael Nadal will be defending a lot of points at Flushing Meadows this year, having picked up the title in 2019. He will also be going head-to-head with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to end the year as the out-and-out leader in the all-time Slam race.