Andy Murray sets sights on second Olympics gold after Djokovic shock

August 9, 2016

Andy Murray has his sights set firmly on a second successive gold medal in the Olympic men's singles event, following a dramatic start to the tennis in Rio.

The Scot will play Argentina's Juan Monaco in the second round today (August 9th), having defeated Serb Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round.

However, it was another Serb - and another Argentinean - who stole the headlines in the opening round as Juan Martin del Potro knocked out top seed Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-6.

The result left Djokovic in tears as he left the court, with his hopes of winning Olympic gold to add to his complete set of Grand Slam titles possibly gone for good. He will be 33 by the time the Tokyo Olympics comes around.

However, he was not the only one to show plenty of emotion. Del Potro - who beat Djokovic in the Bronze medal match four years ago - came into the tournament ranked 141st in the world after a long battle with a wrist injury. The 2009 US Open winner showed he is now coming back to his best, and having knocked Stan Wawrinka out of Wimbledon this year, he is sure to surge up the rankings and be a contender for a second title in New York next month.

Nonetheless, Murray must now be a hot favourite to win the gold and with it claim the 750 ranking points on offer, something that will boost his chances of overtaking Djokovic at the top of the world rankings.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in November can expect Djokovic and Murray to be there, and Del Potro may yet make a thrilling bid to sneak in. Having come back in at the start of the summer, he is currently 107th on the road to London with 410 points, 2,135 points behind current holder of eighth place Gael Monfils, but there remains plenty of time to start making up points, particularly if he can have a good run in Rio and then New York.

While Murray will be watching out for the threat of Del Potro, he will be able to fully focus on the singles as he and brother Jamie crashed out in the first round of the men's doubles. With Heather Watson out in the women's singles, it is possible she might pair up with one of the Murray brothers in the mixed doubles. Given Jamie's ranking as the top men's doubles player and Watson's recent mixed doubles success at Wimbledon, they may make sense as the best partnership.

The doubles brought a few more big names down to earth, as Djokovic suffered more misery alongside Nenad Zimonjic, as they were beaten by Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, the latter of whom won the Australian Open with Jamie Murray this year. In the women's doubles, the Williams sisters also made an early exit.

Britain's singles challenge in the womens' tournament is still very much alive, however, as Johanna Konta has now reached the last 16, where she will face Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova.

By Alex Brundell

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