Novak Djokovic’s quest to become the first man ever to win a ‘Golden Slam’ is over after he went down to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in their Olympic semi-final in Tokyo.
Top seed Djokovic had been bidding to become the first male ever to win all four Grand Slams plus Olympic gold in the same year.
The Serb appeared on course for a spot in Sunday’s final against Russian ace Karen Khachanov, taking the first set 6-1 against Zverev on Friday before the German battled back to win the next two sets 6-3 6-1.
Having already claimed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles this season, Djokovic was looking to add a maiden Olympic gold to his remarkable career haul.
However, despite starting off all-guns blazing, the tournament favorite faltered as the 24-year-old Zverev fought back brilliantly.
It will be the German who now contests Sunday’s gold medal match with ROC player Khachanov, who had beaten Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in two sets in their semi-final earlier on Friday.
Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic will face Carreno Busta for a shot at a consolation bronze, which would match the medal he achieved in Beijing in 2008.
However, the 34-year-old Serbian great will know that his best chance of Olympic glory may have just passed him by in Tokyo.
Zverev at the net. “You’re one of the greatest players of all time. I’m sorry for this.”Djokovic very gracious in defeat as always. It was a nice moment. pic.twitter.com/mgHOtRkBYK
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 30, 2021
German tennis icon Steffi Graf remains the only player – male or female – ever to win a ‘Golden Slam’ of all four Majors and Olympic gold in the same year, achieving the feat back in 1988.