Tokyo Olympics 2021

Olympics Day 7: Zverev shatters Djokovic's "Golden Slam" dream

Alex Zverev came from a set down to beat the world number one Novak Djokovic who was attempting to become the first man to win an Olympic gold medal as well as titles at the four Grand Slam tournaments.
Alex Zverev came from a set down to beat the world number one Novak Djokovic who was attempting to become the first man to win an Olympic gold medal as well as titles at the four Grand Slam tournaments. REUTERS - MIKE SEGAR

Novak Djokovic’s bid for the fabled “Golden Slam” ended on Friday night after a three-set defeat to Germany's Alex Zverev in the semi-final of the men’s tennis.

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Djokovic, 34, was trying to become the first man to win titles at the four Grand Slam tournament venues in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York as well as an Olympic crown.

The Serb had already secured trophies in Australia, France and England to take him level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam trophies.

And he appeared to be en route to legend in Tokyo as he breezed through the first set 6-1 on Friday night at the Ariake Tennis Park.

The world number one, unbeaten in 22 matches, broke to lead 3-2 in the second. 

Fall

But from that position of ascendance, he faltered. He lost his own serve allowing Zverev to level at 3-3. 

Zverev held to make it 4-3 and broke Djokovic again to give himself the chance to serve for the set at 5-3.

The 24-year-old, who had lost his previous five matches to Djokovic, accepted the challenge and made it one set apiece.

The scalpel that is normally Djokovic’s forehand turned into a shovel as Zverev raced into a 4-0 lead in the final set.

And he held his nerve to wrap up the decider 6-1.

Champion

"I feel sorry for Novak but at the end of the day, he's won 20 Grand Slams, he's won 550 Masters series or whatever it is, so you can’t have everything," said Zverev.

“He is the greatest player of all time and he will win the most Grand Slams out of anybody on tour.

"But I am also happy I am in the finals, so what more can I say to that?”

In the final, Zverev will take on Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee who overcame Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

“Obviously, it's an amazing feeling knowing that you're going to bring the medal back to your house, back home to Germany," Zverev added.

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