SportsDjokovic's Olympic crash against Zverev

Djokovic’s Olympic crash against Zverev

Djokovic curses one of the points lost in the semifinal against Zverev.Patrick Semansky / AP

He started the match with the solvency that he had shown throughout the tournament, reliable in the serve, a nuisance with his backhand and devastating with the drive. It seemed that the Olympic semifinal would be another walk for Novak Djokovic, who had not lost a single set in Tokyo, used to discounting rivals for too long, world number one and conqueror of 20 greats, also of the last three: Australia , Roland Garros and Wimbledon. 6-3 in the first set and smiling from ear to ear. But everything was suddenly clouded … And he no longer regained his tennis, surpassed by the German Alexander Zverev, who did show his best version. And with that it was enough to step on the final of the Games against Russian Káren Khachanov, who beat Pablo Carreño in the other semifinal.

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As if laziness took hold of him, as if he thought he had it all done, Djokovic lost a serve on target in the second set and the wires got crossed badly because he accumulated eight consecutive games without winning. He couldn’t understand his slump, nor how Zverev was moving him from side to side of the track. But it is that everything came out for the German: sharp serves, impossible right hands and, above all, immeasurable in the net both in volleys and in the smash, unable Nole to surpass him with the balloons. Too much for an unknown Djokovic, who managed to save a service in the last set to throw the rest of the games overboard, always trying to finish the points on the fast track before looking for the rally and the weaknesses of the rival. So Zverev took the next two sleeves (6-3 and 6-1) and also the right to fight for the gold medal.

In the last scenario he will meet Karen Kachanov, who burned the Spanish Pablo Carreño, unable to respond to the shells for services that the Russian threw. So the defeat of Djokovic deprives him of gold (or silver to Serbia) and puts Carreño in check, who will have to do with the best player in the world today in the fight for bronze.

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