Tokyo: Novak Djokovic came to the Tokyo Olympics aiming for a Golden Slam. He’ll leave without a medal — in singles, at least — and will need some time to recover from a draining performance in extreme conditions that didn’t meet expectations.
The top-ranked Djokovic lost his cool and abused his racket several times during a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 defeat to Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain in the bronze-medal match of the tennis tournament on Saturday. It was Djokovic’s third defeat in two days and it came less than 24 hours after he was beaten by Alexander Zverev of Germany in the semifinals. That ended his bid for a Golden Slam, which is winning all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold in the same year.
Djokovic’s frustration was evident in his on-court behavior as the match wore on. Having saved a match point in the second-set tiebreaker, Djokovic threw his racket over five rows of seats into the stands after he couldn’t get to a stop-volley winner from Carreño Busta to conclude a long rally in the opening game of the third.
Hours after losing a tough men’s singles bronze-medal match Djokovic withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze-medal match at the Olympics due to a left shoulder injury. What could have been a mouth-watering clash between two world No. 1s and reigning Wimbledon champions – Serbia’s Djokovic is the world No. 1 men’s player, while Australia’s Ashleigh Barty is the women’s numero uno – ended in a damp squib with the former pulling out at the last minute.
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