Djokovic falls to Zverev, ending Golden Slam bid

Tennis

TOKYO — There might be no Golden Slam for Novak Djokovic.

The highest-ranked Serb misplaced to Alexander Zverev of Germany 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 Friday within the semifinals of the tennis match on the Tokyo Olympics.

Djokovic was making an attempt to develop into the primary man to win all 4 Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in the identical yr. He gained the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon this yr and wanted the Olympic and US Open titles to finish the gathering.

Steffi Graf in 1988 stays the one tennis participant to realize the Golden Slam.

“He gained 20 Grand Slams,” Zverev mentioned. “So you possibly can’t have every thing.”

Zverev’s opponent within the gold-medal match might be Karen Khachanov. The Russian beat Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3, 6-3.

Djokovic, who hadn’t misplaced since getting crushed by Rafael Nadal on the Italian Open ultimate 2½ months in the past, will play Carreno Busta for bronze.

On a moist and muggy night on the Ariake Tennis Park, Djokovic dedicated a collection of uncharacteristic errors after a robust begin because the 6-foot-6 Zverev began to win free factors along with his huge serve.

When Zverev hit a backhand winner down the road that Djokovic did not transfer for to shut it out, Djokovic walked to the online, the place he was embraced by Zverev. Djokovic responded by resting his head on Zverev’s shoulder because the pair exchanged some phrases.

“I advised him that he is the best of all time,” Zverev mentioned. “I do know that he was chasing historical past, he was chasing [the] Golden Slam. … We’re very shut. … So after all I am comfortable that I’ve gained, however in the long run of the day I additionally know [how] he feels.”

Djokovic’s solely Olympic medal was bronze in singles on the 2008 Beijing Video games — his first. He might nonetheless win a gold on the Tokyo Video games in blended doubles.

Djokovic was due again on the court docket nearly instantly to play with Serbian associate Nina Stojanovic within the blended doubles semifinals towards the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev.

It is the third consecutive day that Djokovic was taking part in two matches.

Viktor Troicki, Serbia’s Olympic crew coach, advised The Related Press on Thursday that all the crew was towards Djokovic taking part in blended doubles as a result of they did not need the occasion to tire him out with a lot on the road in singles.

With out Djokovic, the gold-medal match might be missing star energy.

Zverev’s greatest profession end result was reaching the ultimate of final yr’s US Open, whereas the Twenty fifth-ranked Khachanov is coming off a quarterfinal look at Wimbledon and is now within the largest ultimate of his profession.

Later, there’s an all-Croatian gold-medal match in males’s doubles that includes the top-seeded pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic towards Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig.

The primary medal of the tennis competitors went to the New Zealand crew of Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus, who took bronze in males’s doubles by beating Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren of america 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Daniell and Venus turned the primary New Zealand gamers to win a medal in tennis since 1912, when Anthony Wilding took bronze in singles whereas representing Australasia. Wilding, New Zealand’s solely Grand Slam singles champion with six titles, was killed throughout World Warfare I in 1915 on the age of 31.

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