Zverev Ends Djokovic’s Golden Slam Hopes In Tokyo Olympic Stunner, Will Meet Khachanov For Gold

by Staff | July 30th, 2021, 9:59 am

Novak Djokovic dream for a singles gold came to a crashing end Friday in Tokyo. The Serb was up a set and a break on Alexander Zverev and just three games from his first gold medal match when everything came unglued in stunning fashion for the Serb.

Djokovic played a poor 3-2 service game to give the break right back and Zverev took full advantage from there riding the momentum to win eight straight games to go up 4-0 in the third and all but put the match away.

Djokovic had break chances early in the third but was denied all four times, and Zverev cruised to a shocking 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 upset win over the world No. 1.

“It’s an amazing feeling, knowing that you’re going to bring the medal back to your house, back home to Germany,” Zverev said after. “It’s incredible beating the best player in the world undoubtedly right now, and in this season.

“It seemed it was impossible to beat him at this event, so I’m very happy right now. But there’s still one match to go.

“I know that he was chasing history, chasing the golden slam and was chasing the Olympics, but in these kind of moments me and Novak are very close. Of course I’m happy that I’ve won, but at the end of the day I know how Novak feels. I told him that he’s the greatest of all time, and he will be.”

Neither player had lost a set coming in but Djokovic had won his last 22 matches and won his last five over the German. The loss was Djokovic’s first since the Rome final and just fourth on the season, all in the best-of-3 format. Today, he started out strong on his serve, but managed to win just two points on his second serve in the final set.

“I was leading a set then a break and he managed to turn the match around, he served huge, was attacking, and I was not getting any free points on my first serves.

“To play someone of his quality, of his level, it’s just too tough to win a match (like that).”

At 34, was this Djokovic’s last chance at a singles gold? He’ll be 37 for the Paris 2024 games which will be held on the red clay at Roland Garros.

Zverev will try to become the first German man to win Olympic singles gold on Sunday when he meets surprise finalist Karen Khachanov.

The hulking Khachanov played a near-perfect semifinal blowing past Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-3 behind 15 forehand winners and 10 aces.

Khachanov has now won 9 of his last 10 matches following his quarterfinal Wimbledon run. Carreno Busta had won his last 8 coming into the semifinal.

Tomorrow, Carreno Busta and Djokovic will battle for the bronze medal. Djokovic will go for the singles bronze for a third time in the last four Olympics.

Djokovic’s day wasn’t done. He and Nina Stojanovic returned for mixed doubles action and the duo went down in a tough match to the Russian Olympic Committee tandem of Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 7-6(4), 7-5. Stojanovic/Djokovic were up a break 4-2 but like the singles, Djokovic couldn’t maintain the lead.

“Tough day, a really tough day. I feel so terrible right now,” Djokovic said.

He and Stojanovic will bid for mixed gold against the Australian’s Ashleigh Barty and John Peers.

Centre Court – starting at 15:00
WS BM (15) RYBAKINA Elena (KAZ) vs (4) SVITOLINA Elina (UKR)
WS F (9) BENCIC Belinda (SUI) vs VONDROUSOVA Marketa (CZE)

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15 Comments for Zverev Ends Djokovic’s Golden Slam Hopes In Tokyo Olympic Stunner, Will Meet Khachanov For Gold

Giles Says:

He missed the chance of a Gold in dubs as well!!!
Today is a jolly good day I’d say!

Truth Says:

Serbs are proud. Stojanovic hadn’t played mixed doubles with GOAT before but already got to the semi.
Did Mirka Frauderer count as a doubles specialist? Fedal lost 6 straight games on their fave courts. Fed would’ve lost every slam against Djoko but he was so old since he was 30 and had many injuries while playing his most “wonderful” ballet game.
Fed skipped clay events for years because he confessed that he’d lose to Djoko 100% of the time. GOAT Fed?

Giles Says:

^^^ Bitter twisted faker fan!

Snot Nosed Kid Says:

You just knew Djoker was going to pull that old piss break trick once he lost the 2nd set. But Japanese toilets don’t work that way. No magic whiz to save him this time.

Annie Says:

! It just goes to show you anyone can be the best players on any given day!!!

chrisford1 Says:

No gold. Missing bucket item list. Destiny is overrated. Novak tried his best and came up short. Any other player who has had the Olympic record Djokovic has would be proud. No gold, but bronze, made 3 semi-finals. Currently tied with Federer with most wins in Olympic men’s singles.
He had fun and his partner Nina had fun playing with him. A better experience than RIO, for sure. Next Olympics will be in Paris, at Roland Garros. We will see if Rafa and Novak are too old to play.

Snot Nosed Kid Says:

He can still go for the bronze slam. Sounds like something on the menu at Denny’s.

John Smith Says:


On a PC, the page is completely screwed and the main text goes behind the right column which makes it unreadable.

This is due to Giles who after coming on himself (!), typed the hahahaha super long in a SINGLE word. That forces the table column of the page to be as wide as the word hence the problem.

If you edit the page using the developer tool of Chrome for instance, and you remove the hahahaha… of Giles’ comment, the page goes back to normal. Hahaha! ;-)

Bottom-line, to avoid the problem: either add an attribute to cut long word in table cell (something like overflow:hidden) or ask Giles to stop coming on himself…

Van Persie Says:

Was not meant to be for Nole, who knows, he might have a shot in Paris in 2024?
As I already said after Wimbledon, I did not care very much about the Olympics but I am sad for Nole, as he wished it badly.
Maybe this will motivate him even more for the US Open. We shall see. It’s time for him to have rest properly after such an amazing run in the first half of the season.

Giles Says:

No Bronze for faker! Lost to Busta!

Giles Says:

Oh shuttttt uppppp John Smith! Faker beaten again, that’s history! Lololol

Giles Says:

And the plot thickens even further. Faker and partner withdraw from the mixed dubs. Barty and Peers get the bronze.
The OG has proved to be a complete disaster for faker! Lol

tenisbebe Says:

Well he wanted to make tennis history and he did: losing 3 matches in less than 24 hours and then withdrawing from a 4th does just that!!

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