Alexander Zverev hopes of winning the ‘Golden Slam’ have been dashed as he came back from a set and a break down in Tokyo.
After losing in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games in Tokyo against Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic’s dream for a ‘Golden Slam’ is ended.
The world No. 1 was attempting to make history by becoming the first guy to win all four majors as well as an Olympic singles gold medal in the same calendar year. Steffi Graf is the only other tennis player to have accomplished this accomplishment.
Djokovic’s ambition to make more tennis history appeared secure after a productive run of matches in Tokyo, with Djokovic flying through the opening set of the semi-final.
The 24-year-old Zverev, on the other hand, displayed remarkable drive and courage to turn his own game around and win 1-6 6-3 6-1.
In the final, Zverev will face Karen Khachanov. The world No. 1 must pick himself up and compete in the bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.
Djokovic had cruised to the last eight, dropping only two games against Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals, but Zverev had been in fine form as well, so this semi-final was always going to be Djokovic’s toughest test.
The other major opponent for world No. 1 was the humidity in Tokyo, which he has struggled with in the past.
He convinced organisers to move the start of play from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to avoid the worst of the heat, but despite the match starting at nearly 5 p.m., conditions were extremely challenging.
Djokovic, who had won 23 matches in a row, including the French Open and Wimbledon, appeared to be on his way to another easy triumph as he breezed through the first set and broke Zverev for a 3-2 lead in the second.
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The fight then flipped on its head as the powerful German began to accomplish the seemingly impossible and strike through his opponent.
He won an incredible eight games in a row before Djokovic finally put an end to it in the decider, holding for a 1-4 victory. However, the world No. 1 realised the game was up after a lacklustre last game.
At the net, the two enjoyed a warm embrace, and Zverev shared the words they spoke after the match.
“I assured him that he is and will be the greatest of all time,” Zverev stated.
“I understand he was chasing history, the Grand Slam, and the Olympics, but in these types of situations, Novak and I are extremely close.”
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