With the removal of Novak Djokovic (1st) in the semifinals of the JTokyo 2020 olympic games at the hands of Alex Zverev (5th) The “curse” that deprived many of the Olympic gold reappeared: that of being number one when it came to playing the biggest sporting event.
Since tennis began to be played in this event, starting in Seoul 1988, no tennis player located at the top of the ATP ranking (established on August 23, 1973) could reach gold. There, in the Games played in South Korea, qwho came as the leader of the world ranking was Mats Wilander. But the Swede announced his withdrawal from the competition due to periostitis. The champion? Miroslav Mecir (12th at the time).
For Barcelona 1992 Jim Courier arrived as undisputed king. The American came from being champion in Australia and Roland Garros. But In the round of 16 he was surprised by the Swiss Marc Rosset (44th) and said goodbye early to the Olympic event. The end of the story had the aforementioned Helvetian with the gold medal.
For both Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, Pete Sampras was number one in the ATP rankings.. But the Washington-born was unable to attend either event. The reasons were that, for the first, he argued an inflammation in his right Achilles tendon and then the adjusted schedule. Had he presented himself, he would have done so in a great moment of grace, because in 1996 he had raised four trophies (San José, Memphis, Hong Kong and Tokyo) and in 2000 two (Miami and Wimbledon). Finally, in North America, the local Andre Agassi (6th) would be consecrated and in the oceanic the Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov (8th).
For the Olympics in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, the number one was Roger Federer. The Swiss, who is always a candidate for all the events he disputes, could not break this spell either. In 2004, despite being champion in Australia and Wimbledon, he lost in the second round to Czech Tomas Berdych. Four years later, he lost in the quarterfinals against American James Blake and finally, in the British event, he lost in the final against Andy Murray taking the silver medal.
In Rio 2016, the number one in the world, just like today, it was Novak Djokovic. However, the Belgrade-born would fall in the first round against Argentine Juan Martín Del Potro and would quickly say goodbye.. The Scotsman Murray (2nd) would return to hang the medal desired by all, by beating the Tandilense in the final.
Djokovic, who has a sensational 2021 and has already won three of the four majors of the season (Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon) could not break the curse either. This negative streak for the best players in the world has already been in existence for 33 years and will extend until the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Can any number one get around the curse of gold?