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Olympics-Open Double is Doable

Posted by Webster Washington on 8/7/2016 5:11:29 AM

Competing in the Olympics and coming back to perform well in the U.S. Open isn't as difficult as you might think for a tennis player. It's just a matter of knowing how to do it.

Several top tennis players decided to forego Rio 2016, using excuses of scheduling and Zika virus. Roger Federer's knee went out, and Stan Wawrinka has a bad back. Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka are the big names missing from the women's side of the Games.

But the players who have done this double before know they can work it into their schedules with success. They've planned ahead and are treating the Olympics as another hardcourt warmup, with a little extra travel and a lot of prestige on the line. Plus, they know it can be done and done right; both Andy Murray and Serena Williams followed gold-medal performances in the 2012 Olympics with U.S. Open titles the next month.

Men

Derailed at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic still has a chance to win his first gold medal in the Olympics. Since he's won all of the Slams, a gold is the only gap in his resume. He won bronze in men's singles at the 2008 Beijing Games, but was shut out of London 2012. Just off of a Rogers Cup triumph in Canada, Djokovic is in good form and should be at his best in the Olympics. But a winning effort in Brazil may take something out of his U.S. Open.

There's no reason to think Murray can't rally for the double, since he's done it before. A loss to Djoker in Brazil should make him come back harder. Between the two, I think the Olympics loser goes to New York with the better effort. That bodes well for Murray backers, since he's at +235 to win in U.S. Open betting futures.

Women

Serena is in a battle with age. But she simply likes winning things, and she knows the feeling of winning gold. But look for her to focus more on winning doubles gold with sister Venus. For Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber, the Olympic-Open double offers two chances to emerge from Serena's shadow. Muguruza is young, fit and rested after an early exit at Wimbledon. There's no reason she shouldn't be able to put forth her best efforts in both the Olympics and the U.S. Open. Kerber has plenty of pride, but she's been hard to figure since winning the Australian Open. She made the finals at Wimbledon before losing to Serena, and she's taken on a couple of tournaments since then. Look for Muguruza to emerge in September. If she gets through Rio without injury the +750 in U.S. Open betting futures looks like a bargain.

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