Former world No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro has joked that world No. 1 Novak Djokovic will have a chance to win the Tokyo Olympics since he won’t be playing in Japan.
In 2012, del Potro beat Djokovic in the bronze medal match at the London Olympics.
Four years later, del Potro beat Djokovic in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics first round.
“Honored to play for my people and my country at the Olympics! Wheels up, see you in Tokyo,” Djokovic wrote in an Instagram post.
In the comments, del Potro replied: “I’ll be watching you! This time you have your chance amigo!”
Del Potro, now ranked at No. 746 in the world, hasn’t played since 2019 and he won’t be participating at the Tokyo Olympics.
At the last Olympics, del Potro made the final before losing to former world No. 1 Andy Murray.
Djokovic ready for the Tokyo Olympics
Djokovic, who captured his sixth Wimbledon title last than two weeks ago, is now aiming to win his maiden gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
A number of big names have pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics but Djokovic insists it won’t be easy in Tokyo.
Djokovic also claimed the Olympics are different in terms of pressure.
“Although some players from the top are not coming, there are also a lot of elite players fighting for medals: (Daniil) Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas and (Alex) Zverev are among the favourites. They are the best, but it is a long tournament and anything can happen.
“Furthermore, Olympics are specific in terms of pressure, expectations and emotions – everything is different compared to other tournaments and I know that very well, I felt it on my own skin in the past. Therefore, I will try to approach the Olympics in the same way that I approach other tournaments, so that I can stay focused on my goal.”