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Olympics 2021: Ranking the top 6 tennis contingents in terms of their medal prospects 

The tennis event begins on 24th July
The tennis event begins on 24th July
Rajdeep Singh
ANALYST

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally here. Tennis events will get underway on Saturday, 24 July with a number of interesting first-round matches.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and his biggest threat Daniil Medvedev will play their first-round matches on Saturday, against Hugo Dellien and Alexander Bublik respectively. India's very own Sumit Nagal, who is making his Olympic debut, will take on Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.

On the women's side, French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova will take the court for her opening encounter against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

There are some exciting doubles matches lined up as well, with Great Britain's Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury taking on one of the tournament favorites in Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France.

On that note, let's take a look at the top six tennis contingents at this year's Olympics:

The Medal Tally for Tokyo 2020 is out now. Check out the Tokyo Olympics Medal Tally.

#6 USA

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Rajeev Ram will be looking to add another medal to their tally
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Rajeev Ram will be looking to add another medal to their tally

USA has always fielded a strong contingent for tennis events at the Olympics. The likes of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, the Williams sisters and the Bryan brothers have all taken part under the American flag in the Olympics.

USA has won 39 medals in tennis, including 21 golds - the highest of any country.

This year, they will be without 23-time Slam champion Serena Williams, who opted out due to injury. Teen sensation Coco Gauff had to pull out as well after contracting COVID-19 on the eve of the quadrennial event.

But they will be bolstered by the presence of Jennifer Brady, who finished as the runner-up at this year's Australian Open. Jessica Pegula has also had a strong season and will fancy her chances of making a deep run.

However, the US lacks experience in the men's singles competition, with all the four players on the entry list making their Olympic debuts.

Rajeev Ram, who won the silver medal in the mixed doubles event in 2016 alongside Venus Williams, will feature in the men's doubles event alongside Frances Tiafoe.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who won the gold medal in mixed doubles alongside Jack Sock in Rio, will partner Pegula in the women's doubles event.

Overall, the US has a strong contingent and could possibly win a couple of medals, especially in women's singles and doubles.

Team:

Men's singles: Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren, Marcos Giron

Women's singles: Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula, Alison Riske

Men's doubles: Rajeev Ram/Frances Tiafoe, Austin Krajicek/Tennys Sandgren

Women's doubles: Alison Riske/Nicole Melichar, Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jessica Pegula

#5 France

Herbert and Mahut are France's best hope for a medal at the Olympics
Herbert and Mahut are France's best hope for a medal at the Olympics

While the French team looks strong on paper, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding some of the players.

Gael Monfils, the highest ranked French player in the draw, has had a really disappointing year so far, winning just three matches on the ATP tour.

Jeremy Chardy and Gilles Simon are in the twilight of their careers and are unlikely to make a deep run. That leaves 23-year-old Ugo Humbert as the only French player with a realistic shot at securing a medal in the men's singles.

Humbert reached a career-high ranking of 25 in June and has posted some solid results throughout the year.

On the women's side, France do not have a single player in the top 50 of the world rankings and will find it extremely hard to win a medal.

However, France have a really good chance of winning a couple of medals in the doubles events through the highly experienced pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut on the men's side and Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia on the women's side.

Team:

Men's singles: Gael Monfils, Ugo Humbert, Jeremy Chardy, Gilles Simon

Women's singles: Fiona Ferro, Kristina Mladenovic, Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia

Men's doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut, Jeremy Chardy/Gael Monfils

Women's doubles: Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic, Alize Cornet/Fiona Ferro

#4 Spain

Muguruza will be looking to win her first medal
Muguruza will be looking to win her first medal

Rafael Nadal's absence definitely puts a huge dent in Spain's chances of winning a medal in tennis. Their best bet on the men's singles side is World No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta, who recently won his first ATP 500 title in Hamburg.

But they have plenty of contenders on the women's side, headlined by two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza. 23-year-old Paula Badosa has had a great season so far and will fancy her chances of securing a medal.

Spain will also be in with a shout in the women's doubles, with Muguruza pairing up with veteran Carla Suarez Navarro.

Muguruza could also team up with Carreno Busta in mixed doubles, which would boost their medal hopes in that event.

Team:

Men's singles: Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Pablo Andujar, Roberto Carballes Baena

Women's singles: Garbine Muguruza, Paula Badosa, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Carla Suarez Navarro

Men's doubles: Pablo Carreno Busta/Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Pablo Andujar/Roberto Carballes Baena

Women's doubles: Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez Navarro, Paula Badosa/Sara Sorribes Tormo

#3 Germany

Zverev will lead Germany's challenge at the Olympics
Zverev will lead Germany's challenge at the Olympics

World No. 5 Alexander Zverev will spearhead Germany's tennis challenge at the Olympics.

Zverev has had a decent year so far, reaching the semifinals of the French Open and quarterfinals of the Australian Open. He's won two titles so far - the Madrid Masters and the ATP 500 in Acapulco.

Also representing Germany in the men's singles draw is Jan-Lennard Struff, who has beaten the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev this year. However, Struff could face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the second round.

Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dominik Koepfer are unlikely to make much of an impact in the men's singles competition.

Germany will not pose much of a threat in women's singles, with World No. 61 Laura Siegemund the highest-ranked player from the country in the draw.

However, men's doubles and mixed doubles are two categories in which Germany can secure a medal. Zverev will team up with Struff in the men's doubles and possibly Siegemund in mixed.

Team:

Men's singles: Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff, Dominik Koepfer, Philipp Kohlschreiber

Women's singles: Laura Siegemund, Mona Barthel, Anna-Lena Friedsam (ITF)

Men's doubles: Jan-Lennard Struff/Alexander Zverev, Kevin Krawietz/Tim Puetz

Women's doubles: Anna-Lena Friedsam/Laura Siegemund

#2 Czech Republic

Petra Kvitova was the flag-bearer for the Czech Republic at the opening ceremony
Petra Kvitova was the flag-bearer for the Czech Republic at the opening ceremony

There is no doubt that the Czech Republic boasts one of the strongest contingents on the women's side.

With three out of their four singles players ranked inside the top 15, one or even two of them can end up winning a medal.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won the bronze last time out in Rio and will look to add another medal to her tally.

Also in the singles draw are this year's French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova, and World No. 41 Marketa Vondrousova, who is also capable of dealing some damage.

The Czechs will also fancy their chances of securing a medal in the women's doubles. Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova are three-time Grand Slam champions together and are the top seeds in the women's doubles event in Tokyo.

Team:

Women's singles: Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Barbora Krejcikova, Marketa Vondrousova

Men's singles: Tomas Machac

Women's doubles: Barbora Krejikova/Katerina Siniakova, Karolina Pliskova/Marketa Vondrousova

#1 Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)

Medvedev will look to make a strong impression in his first ever Olympics
Medvedev will look to make a strong impression in his first ever Olympics

Russia was sanctioned for a series of doping-related scandals and its athletes will represent the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) instead of the nation at the Tokyo Games.

There is no doubt that the ROC has the strongest tennis contingent going into the tournament. The men's team proved just how good they can be when they won the ATP Cup in Australia earlier this year.

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev leads the pack along with World No. 7 Andrey Rublev h. While Medvedev and Rublev are the ROC's biggest hopes for a gold medal in men's singles, Aslan Karatsev and Karen Khachanov cannot be written off either.

World No. 18 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will lead the ROC's challenge in the women's singles. She recently reached the final of the French Open, where she lost to Barbora Krejcikova in three sets.

THe ROC are also strong contenders in the women's doubles event, where they will be represented by Elena Vesnina and Veronika Kudermetova. The Russian pair reached the Wimbledon final earlier this month and are one of the favorites to take home the gold in Tokyo.

Team:

Men's singles: Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov

Women's singles: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudermetova, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Elena Vesnina

Men's doubles: Aslan Karatsev/Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov/Andrey Rublev

Women's doubles: Veronika Kudermetova/Elena Vesnina

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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