We are coming to the end of 2015, which means we can officially start thinking about the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Qualification for the men’s and women’s tournaments is going to continue until the beginning of June, so there should be a lot of exciting tennis played before then. While the qualification process is still underway, it is not too early to make predictions for the men’s and women’s singles tennis tournaments at the 2016 Olympics.
Since there are so many great tennis players in the men’s division, making a prediction this early may be a little tricky. Andy Murray is the defending gold medalist, but he is not going to get the advantage of playing in front of his home crowd like in 2012. The favorite will ultimately be the man playing the best tennis leading up to the Olympics in August. Novak Djokovic has been the best tennis player in the world over the last few years, so he has to be considered the favorite for the gold medal at the moment.
While it is going to be hard for anyone to top Novak Djokovic at the most important tournament in tennis, it is tough to count out Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Stan Wawrinka this early. Rafael Nadal would typically be one of the favorites at such a big tournament, but he has not been the same after suffering several injuries over the last couple of years. Roger Federer may be Djokovic’s toughest competition next year. Federer just has a knack for delivering his best tennis when it matters the most, and he will be extra motivated since he will be playing in his final Olympics. Stan Wawrinka is quickly becoming one of the top men’s tennis players in the world, but he has not quite shown the ability to consistently beat the top players at the biggest tournaments.
Unlike the men’s tournament, the women’s singles tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics is much easier to predict. There is simply just not a woman on the planet that can compete with Serena Williams at a huge tennis tournament right now. She nearly won all four Grand Slam tournaments this year, so it is safe to assume the Olympics betting odds will be heavily favoring Serena when the tournament starts in August 2016. While it certainly looks like Serena Williams will win her second straight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, there are still several women capable of pulling off the major upset.
Simona Halep has consistently been the second best tennis player in the women’s singles division this year, but she has never been able to play up to her potential at the big tournaments. Despite playing great tennis over the last two years, Halep has only managed to make the finals of a Grand Slam tournament one time in her career. If she can overcome her tendency to collapse on the big stage, then Simona Halep has to be considered the biggest favorite to top Serena Williams.
Based on her career trajectory, Garbine Muguruza could also potentially defeat Serena at the 2016 Olympics. Muguruza is only 22 years old, and she has come out of nowhere over the last two years to become the third-ranked female tennis player in the world. If she can continue her rise in the tennis world, then she has to be considered a solid contender at the Olympics. Maria Sharapova would typically be considered a contender at any big tennis tournament, but she has never proven an ability to defeat Serena Williams. Since Serena is playing so well right now, anyone that wants to win the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil will most likely have to defeat her at some point in the tournament.