By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, May 31, 2021
Novak Djokovic will go for the gold in Tokyo—provided fans are permitted at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games—while Roger Federer is undecided on playing the Games.
Meeting the media at Roland Garros today, the world No. 1 said he plans to play the Olympics as long as there are fans in Tokyo.
“I’m planning to play Olympic Games for now,” Djokovic said. “As I heard, there’s going to be some crowd, local crowd from Japan only. As I understand, 20%, 30% of the capacity.
“If they change something, if there’s not going to be any crowd, then I’ll consider if I want to go or not. Right now I am planning to go, and I’m very excited about that.”
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics are scheduled for July 23rd to August 8th. The state of the pandemic in Japan—and the prospect of so many international visitors descending on the nation—have prompted some athletes and fans to wonder if it’s too risky to stage the Olympics.
An Olympic gold medal is the only precious prize missing from 18-time Grand Slam championd Djokovic’s expansive trophy collection. Djokovic has won all four Grand Slams and is bidding to become the first Big 3 champion to win every major twice at Roland Garros. The 34-year-old Djokovic has won all nine Masters 1000 championships and led Serbia to the 2010 Davis Cup championship.
The 39-year-old Federer, who partnered Stan Wawrinka to win the doubles gold medal for Switzerland at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and began dating wife Mirka at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games, said he has mixed emotions.
The Swiss superstar, who has served as Switzerland’s flag bearer in past Olympics, says he “would love to play”, but wants to be sure it’s safe and fits his schedule.
“I feel two ways. I would love to play,” Federer said after his Roland Garros opening-round win over Denis Istomin today. “I wish things were better around the world that we wouldn’t even have to debate the thought of is it going to happen, am I going to play or not.
“My wish and hope and dream is that I can play it. But it needs to make sense for me, my team, my family, my country. I’m still waiting to see how things are going to develop the next couple of weeks and month.”
Photo credit: CameraSport