We expected Novak Djokovic, and it was finally Alexander Zverev crowned in Tokyo: The German won the gold medal in the singles Olympics on Sunday by defeating Russian competitor Karen Khachanov after a tennis tournament marked by disappointments from big favorites.
With a clear victory over Khachanov, 6-3, 6-1, the person who knocked down the world No. 1 in the semi-finals wins the most famous title of his career, the 24-year-old, and although there are already 15 titles in the players union ATP circuit – including 4 Masters 1000 – still chasing its first Grand Slam.
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“Nothing is better”
“I will not lose this gold medal from my neck for a long time. I can hardly find the words to describe my happiness, it is unbelievable. It is the biggest victory of my career,” Zverev said after the match.
This medal and the Olympic Games, “It is far greater than anything that can be experienced in sport anywhere else. The value of this title is invaluable and incomparable. There is nothing better in the world,” he explained at a press conference.
The victory comes at the conclusion of an Olympic cycle that has been denied many of the world’s best players – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams or Simona Halep – and where the favorites present have failed.
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World number one Ashleigh Barty fell in the first round, and double Olympic champion Andy Murray lost before his first match, Naomi Osaka, the Japanese star who lit the Olympic torch and carried her country’s hopes, and fell as soon as she fell in eighth place in front of her peer. world 42.
But the biggest surprise came from the fall of world number one semi-finalist Novak Djokovic, who came to Tokyo after some reluctance to win his first Olympic title.
Finally he left, exhausted and weak due to a shoulder injury and ‘physical and mental exhaustion’. One uncertain month of the US Open (August 30 – September 12).
If the logic is respected in the doubles, with the victories of seed No. 1 – Czechs Barbora Krejsikova and Katerina Senyakova in the women, and Croats Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the men – in the singles, it is revenge and the self-imposed wolf youth.
On Saturday, former junior top seed Belinda Bencic and big hope in Swiss tennis with a career hampered by recurring injuries won the women’s title, and Sunday Alexander Zverev came to show, after his achievement against Djokovic on Friday, which will also have to be reckoned with in the coming years.
Big revenge for whoever saw, just under a year ago, his hopes of achieving his first Grand Slam win all of a sudden at the US Open.
While leading two sets to zero against Dominic Thiem, Zverev witnessed Austria’s victory after a thrilling 4:02. He was only two points away from the match.
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But he has since recovered well, winning two titles in Cologne in the fall and reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros.
On Sunday, still very effective in serving (6 aces, 69% of first balls), Khachanov took out winning shots (65 to 43 for the Russians) to win in just 1 hour 21.
Despite the empty stands due to closed doors due to the epidemic and background noise at the start of the match from an anti-Olympic demonstration which appears to be taking place near Ariach Tennis Park, nothing seemed capable of bothering the German, who at the end of the match only let his joy explode by falling to his knees In the field.
“From start to finish he played a great match,” admitted Khachanov, who inherited the silver medal. Bronze went to Spaniard Pablo Carreno.
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