Tennis at the 2016 Rio Olympics has seen many withdrawals of late that also include the defending men’s doubles champions, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan. Despite that, the doubles category still boasts of quite a few stars who can light up the courts in Brazil when the tennis event gets under way this Saturday.
Who are the best bets for the medals? Here we look at five teams in the men’s doubles event, three of whom, barring upsets, can find themselves on the podium.
(For our list of the biggest women’s doubles medal contenders, click here.)
1. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut (France)
The absence of the 2012 gold medallists – the Bryan Brothers – makes the in-form pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut an even bigger favourite for the men’s doubles gold. Since making their Grand Slam breakthrough at the US Open last year, it is this season that they have come alive in terms of consistency.
Giving ample evidence of their versatility, they have six titles over all three surfaces which culminated in their second Major glory at the Wimbledon Championships this July. Their sky-high confidence is further vindicated by the fact that they did not lose a single final this year.
Ranked 1 and 2 in ATP doubles currently, they are undoubtedly the team to watch this season and have already qualified for the Season-Ending ATP World Tour Finals. Needless to say, it will take a mammoth effort from other teams to upstage them at Rio.