Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic is already targeting the Paris Olympics in three years’ time – when he will be 37 years old – after seeing his medal hopes in Tokyo go down in an angry blaze of racket smashing.
Heading into the Tokyo Games, Djokovic was eyeing a historic ‘Golden Slam’ of all four Majors and Olympic gold, having already scooped titles at the US and French Opens and Wimbledon this year.
But it was not to be as a frustrated Djokovic succumbed to a fightback from Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semi-final of the singles before blowing his bronze medal chances in a bad-tempered defeat to Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.
Compounding an ultimately fruitless trek to Japan this summer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion then pulled out of the mixed doubles bronze medal match – where he was due to play alongside Nina Stojanovic – citing a shoulder injury.
The sole Olympic medal in Djokovic’s otherwise glittering career remains the bronze he won in Beijing in 2008.
However, the 34-year-old is not giving up on his Olympic dreams just yet, already vowing to bounce back in Paris in 2024.
“It was a true privilege to represent Serbia at the Olympics. Thank you Tokyo 2020 and everyone that helped us come together for the magic of sport,” wrote Djokovic in a message on social media.
“I know in my heart I gave it everything to fight for a medal, and I’m looking forward to coming back strong at Paris 2024.”
In a second tweet, Djokovic added: “This was an unbelievable experience I will never forget. Good luck to all the Serbian athletes still competing for a medal.”
Djokovic’s attentions will now turn to the US Open later this month, where he will aim to seal a calendar Grand Slam of all four major titles in the same year.
Should the Serb achieve the feat, he would be the first male tennis star to do so since Rod Laver managed it in 1969.