Novak Djokovic’s dream of an Olympic gold medal is still alive. No. 1 in the world, the Serbian performed flawlessly and advanced to the semi-finals in Tokyo by defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori (No. 69) by two sets to 0, partly 6/2 and 6/0, in 1 hour 10 of the match.
With the win, his 22nd in a row this season, Djokovic credited at least one medal match in Tokyo. In the semi-finals, he will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev (No. 5), who beat French Jeremy Chardy (No. 68) also in straight sets, partial 6/4 and 6/1.
Djokovic still unbeaten in Tokyo – Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Bronze medalist in Beijing 2008, the Serbian is not only seeking an unprecedented gold, but is also looking to complete the gold, when a single tennis player crowns the Grand Slam and Olympic championships in the same season. In 2021, Noll has already won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. All that remains is the top of the podium at the Olympics and the US Open, which begins at the end of August.
Although upset in the match-opener, it was Nishikori who broke serve in his first match, and was blamed for unforced errors. With a bit of calm, Djokovic made 3/0 and found no more problems to confirm services. In the eighth game, he got another break to take the first set 6/2.
It was followed by the control of the Serbs in the second group. As in the previous round, the main favorite to win the title was acting steadily and did not offer any holes to the Japanese, who were at a disadvantage early on when it was broken. Nishikori experienced pain in his leg, and was easy prey for Djokovic, who did not pay attention and applied a frame (6/0) to decide the semi-final classification.
Djokovic plays Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the Tokyo 2020 quarter-finals – Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su
As a result, the ranking leader became the first singles player to reach the semi-finals of the Olympics (Beijing, London and Tokyo). It should be noted that in Rio 2016, Nol was eliminated in the first round after losing a historic match to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
In addition to the singles medal, Djokovic is also looking for a place on the podium in the mixed doubles. Besides his compatriot Nina Stojanovic, the Serbian eliminated the Brazilian duo consisting of Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani, and he faces the German Kevin Kraweitz and Laura Siegmund in the quarter-finals.
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