Novak Djokovic cruised into another Olympic quarterfinal overwhelming Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 6-1. Djokovic has now won his last 21 matches and stands just 3 wins now away from that first gold medal.
“Pressure is a privilege,” Djokovic said as he closes in on the gold. “Without pressure, there is no professional sport. If you are aiming to be at the top of the game, you better start learning how to deal with pressure and how to cope with those moments on the court, but also off the court.
“All that buzz and all that noise is something that I can’t say I don’t see it, or I don’t hear it, of course it’s there. But I’ve learned, I’ve developed the mechanism on how to deal with it in such a way that it will not pose a distraction to me. It will not wear me down. I feel I have enough experience to know myself how to step on the court and play my best tennis.”
Up next will be Kei Nishikori who got through Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-6(8), 6-0. Djokovic has won his last 15 against Nishikori and is 16-2 against the Japanese No. 1.
Alexander Zverev, a potential Djokovic semifinal opponent, advanced 6-4, 7-6(5). He’ll be a big favorite Thursday in the quarters against 34-year-old Frenchman Jeremy Chardy who eased past Liam Broady in straights.
In the bottom half, Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out to Ugo Humbert of France 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2. Tsitsipas tuned over on his right ankle on the last point of the second set. But after a lengthy injury timeout, was able to give it a go in the third, but the lefty Humbert was the better player.
Karen Khachanov, a 3-set winner over Diego Schwartzman, advanced to face Humbert.
And Daniil Medvedev weathered the heat, some ab issues, himself and Fabio Fognini to top the Italian in three tough sets in a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. At one point, the ROC No. 1 told the chair about the heat, “I’m fine. I can finish the match but I can die. If I die will the ITF take responsibility?”
“The last one was cramping, so 30 minutes after the match it’s okay. The first one I had a blocked diaphragm. It’s the same thing. The next day it’s a new story and it doesn’t affect thing,” Medvedev said.
“Of course I’m going to work with the physio on these issues to feel even better tomorrow. I actually don’t know the schedule – if we play tomorrow or not – but if we play tomorrow I’m going to do my best to be 100%.”
Up next is Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta who topped German Dominik Koepfer 7-6(7), 6-3.
In doubles, Andy Murray may have played his final Olympic match losing the men’s doubles quarterfinals with Joe Salisbury to the Croatian team of Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig 10-7 in a match breaker.
“I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to play again,” said the 34-year-old Murray of the Paris 2024 possibility. “I’ve loved every minute of playing in the Olympics. I wished today could have gone differently.
“I had another chance with Joe to win a medal. We were so close, and that’s what’s disappointing. I would like to have done some stuff differently in the match to try to help out more. Very disappointed.”
Both Djokovic and Tsitsipas returned later in the day to collect rare mixed doubles wins.
Because of the heat and complaints from player, the tournament has moved the start time of the event back to 3pm in Tokyo to allow for more shade and more play under the night sky instead of the blazing hot sun.
THURSDAY TOKYO OLYMPIC SCHEDULE
Centre Court – starting at 15:00
WS SF (9) BENCIC Belinda (SUI) vs (15) RYBAKINA Elena (KAZ)
MS QF (1) DJOKOVIC Novak (SRB) vs NISHIKORI Kei (JPN)
WS SF (4) SVITOLINA Elina (UKR) vs VONDROUSOVA Marketa (CZE)
XD QF SIEGEMUND / KRAWIETZ (GER) vs STOJANOVIC / DJOKOVIC (SRB)
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