The No. 1 men’s tennis player won’t be leaving Tokyo with a gold medal in singles. Novak Djokovic’s run for the gold came to an end Friday in an upset loss to German Alexander Zverev in the semifinals at the Tokyo Oympics.
Things looked promising for Djokovic early, as he dominated Zverev in the first set 6-1. Djokovic started to lose ground in the second set, but was still ahead 3-2 after five games.
That’s when Zverev took over. Zverev took the next four games, winning the set 6-3 and forcing a third set. It was the first time during the Olympics Djokovic lost a set.
Zverev looked dominant from there. He took the first 4 games of the final set. Djokovic showed signs of life late, winning the fifth game, but Zverev wouldn’t allow Djokovic to come back. Zverev took game the sixth game, putting himself a game away from the upset.
Zverev capitalized on some early errors by Djokovic in the seventh game to win the match. It was a dominating finish by Zverev, who took nine of the last 10 games against Djokovic.
Following the win, Zverev broke down in tears on the court after the win.
Zverev explained why he was emotional following the match, saying it’s been impossible for anyone to beat Djokovic this year. Zverev also called Djokovic “the greatest of all time.”
The win moves Zverev into the finals, where he’ll take on Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee. Djokovic will play Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta for the bronze medal.
Djokovic also lost Friday in mixed doubles with partner Nina Stojanovic, 7-6, 7-5 to Russia’s Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina.
Novak Djokovic’s quest for Golden Slam comes to an end While Zverev entered the contest ranked No. 4 in the world, the upset was still significant.
Djokovic came into the contest on a 22-match win streak. He’s won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, and was hoping to keep his Golden Slam hopes alive with a win at the Olympics.
Following the loss, Djokovic will focus on taking home a Super Slam now. He’ll have a month to prepare for the U.S. Open, which will begin Aug. 30.—AP