Tokyo Olympics: Novak Djokovic suffer shock defeat in Olympic tennis semi-finals

Novak Djokovics hopes of winning a ‘Golden Slam’ are over after he lost to Alexander Zverev in the Olympic tennis semi-finals.

Serb Djokovic, the world number one, was bidding to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.

But German Zverev, 24, came from a set down to win 1-6 6-3 6-1 at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.

The fourth seed will meet Russian Karen Khachanov in Sunday’s final.

World number 25 and 12th seed Khachanov beat Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3 earlier on Friday.

Djokovic, 34, will face Carreno Busta in the bronze medal match on Saturday. His previous best at the Olympics is bronze at Beijing 2008

In March Djokovic set the all-time record for weeks at number one and this month tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for a record 20 Grand Slam titles with his sixth Wimbledon crown.

He also won the Australian and French Open this year.

Steffi Graf is the only player to win all four Grand Slams and the Olympic title in the same year, in 1988.

Asked about embracing Djokovic at the net after his victory, Zverev replied: “I told him that he’s the greatest of all time, and he will be.

“I know that he was chasing history, but in these kind of moments me and Novak are very close.

“I feel sorry for Novak, but he’s won 20 Grand Slams, 550 Masters series or whatever. You can’t have everything.”
Djokovic did not lose a set in his first four games in Tokyo and breezed through the opening set of the semi-final in 37 minutes before going a break up in the second.

But Zverev won 10 games in a row to win the second set and take a commanding lead in the third, with Djokovic looking powerless to prevent the world number five wrapping it up with three breaks in the decider.

Zverev upset Djokovic to win the ATP Finals in London in 2018 and has only reached one Grand Slam final, losing to Dominic Thiem at last year’s US Open.

“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you’re going to bring a medal back home,” said Zverev.

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


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