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Sports

Djokovic going home with no medal

Agence France-Presse
Djokovic going home with no medal
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic bends low in frustration during his match for the bronze medal against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo yesterday.
AFP

TOKYO – Novak Djokovic hurled his racket into the empty stands and smashed another on a net post as he lost his cool on his way to defeat against Pablo Carreno Busta in the Olympics bronze-medal match on Saturday.

The 20-time major champion, whose Golden Grand Slam hopes were dashed by Alexander Zverev on Friday, lost, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, as Spain’s Carreno Busta won on his sixth match point.

Djokovic and his mixed-doubles partner Nina Stojanovic then withdrew before their bronze-medal match against Australians Ashleigh Barty and John Peers, according to organizers.

Djokovic cited a shoulder injury in the withdrawal.

It means that the men’s world number one will leave Tokyo without a medal.

It is the first time top seed Djokovic has lost two straight singles matches since defeats by Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer at the 2019 ATP Tour Finals.

The match with Carreno Busta was a gripping encounter played over two hours and 47 minutes in the suffocating Tokyo heat, with both men desperate to secure a medal.

Djokovic, who will bid to win the final leg of the calendar Grand Slam at the US Open, which starts next month, saved match point in the second-set tie-break to force a decider, and then four more late in the third set.

But Spaniard Carreno Busta, who also knocked out second seed Daniil Medvedev earlier in the tournament, struck 32 winners in an excellent performance, with Djokovic managing just 18.

The 30-year-old finally wrapped up victory in a lengthy final game when his illustrious opponent put a forehand into the net.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC
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