Novak Djokovic was beaten 1-6 6-3 6-1 by Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the men’s singles at the Tokyo Games, dashing the Serbian’s dream of winning his first singles gold medal and completing a Golden Slam.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s hopes of clinching the Golden Slam in 2021 ended in a heartbreaking defeat to Alexander Zverev in the men’s singles semifinals at Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Friday.
Germany’s Zverev came from behind to stun the Serbian ace 1-6 6-3 6-1 in the semifinals. The 24-year-old world No. 5 will face Karen Khachanov in the men’s singles final.
Djokovic had been aiming to become the first man to win all four majors and Olympic gold in the same calendar year, matching the feat Steffi Graf achieved in 1988. He won the Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon this year and needed the Olympic and U.S. Open titles to complete the Golden Slam.
Djokovic, who has yet to win an Olympic gold medal, is into the bronze medal match against Pablo Carreño Busta (ESP). Djokovic was unbeaten since he being taken down by by Rafael Nadal in the Italian Open final in May this year.
The top seed also has a second chance in the mixed doubles.
On a humid and muggy evening at the Ariake Tennis Park, Djokovic committed a series of uncharacteristic errors after a strong start as the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Zverev started to win free points with his big serve.
When Zverev hit a backhand winner down the line that Djokovic didn’t move for to close it out, Djokovic walked to the net where he was embraced by Zverev. Djokovic responded by resting his head on Zverev’s shoulder as the pair exchanged some words.
Djokovic’s only Olympic medal was bronze in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games — his first. He could still win a gold at the Tokyo Games in mixed doubles.
Djokovic was due back on the court almost immediately to play with Serbian partner Nina Stojanovic in the mixed doubles semifinals against the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev.