Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev in Olympic tennis

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: why Novak Djokovic lost to Alexander Zverev

In a thrilling performance, the world No. 1 has been defeated by Alexander Zverev at Tokyo in attempt to win the coveted “Golden Slam” prize.

Novak Djokovic’s bid for ‘Golden Slam’ glory is over after he lost to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games.

The world number one was on a mission to become the first man in history to win all four majors and an Olympic singles gold medal during that same year. Steffi Graf, who is only female player ever, had been able accomplish this feat previously.

After a productive series of matches in Tokyo, and Djokovic flying through the opening set of the semi-final, his bid to create more tennis history looked secure.

However, 24-year-old Zverev showed an exceptional level of determination and character to turn his own game around and triumph 1-6 6-3 6-1.

Zverev will now face Karen Khachanov in the final. The world No 1 must dust himself off and meet Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the bronze medal match.

Djokovic had breezed through to the last eight, losing just two games against Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals, but Zverev had also been playing well so this semi-final always looked like Djokovic’s biggest hurdle.

The world No 1’s other big opponent was the humidity in Tokyo, something he has not coped well with.

He persuaded organisers to shift the start of play back from 11am to 3pm to avoid the worst of the heat, but conditions were still extremely difficult despite the match not beginning until nearly 5pm.

Djokovic, who was on a 23-match winning streak taking in French Open and Wimbledon titles, looked set for another easy victory when he raced through the opening set and broke Zverev for 3-2 in the second.

From there, the match turned on its head, as the powerful German started to achieve the seemingly impossible and hit through his opponent.

He won a remarkable eight games in a row before Djokovic finally stopped the rot to hold for 1-4 in the decider. However, a lacklustre final game showed that the world No 1 knew the game was up.

Djokovic had breezed through to the last eight, losing just two games against Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals, but Zverev had also been playing well so this semi-final always looked like Djokovic’s biggest hurdle.

The world No 1’s other big opponent was the humidity in Tokyo, something he has not coped well with.

He persuaded organisers to shift the start of play back from 11am to 3pm to avoid the worst of the heat, but conditions were still extremely difficult despite the match not beginning until nearly 5pm.

Djokovic, who was on a 23-match winning streak taking in French Open and Wimbledon titles, looked set for another easy victory when he raced through the opening set and broke Zverev for 3-2 in the second.

From there, the match turned on its head, as the powerful German started to achieve the seemingly impossible and hit through his opponent.

He won a remarkable eight games in a row before Djokovic finally stopped the rot to hold for 1-4 in the decider. However, a lacklustre final game showed that the world No 1 knew the game was up.

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