Alexander Zverev scripted a top-notch comeback in the semi-finals of Men’s Singles at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 when he defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in a thrilling 3-setter. Zverev and Djokovic both reached the semi-finals without dropping a set but Novak was the first one to draw blood in the semi-finals winning the 1st set 6-1 in 37 minutes.
Not many thought Zverev would be able to make a comeback against the in-form Serbian who had made his intentions clear from the start of coming to the Olympics only to win the Gold Medal. Zverev however did what he does best, staging late comebacks and was successful in doing so today at the Centre Court of the Ariake Tennis Center.
Zverev won 10 of the last 11 games to defeat Novak for the third time in his career in their 9th meeting after having gone winless in 5 consecutive encounters against the Serbian. Zverev also avenged his quarter-final defeat from the 2021 Australian Open when Novak went on to defeat the big German in 4-sets en route to his 9th Australian Open title at the start of the year.
After winning a thrilling match, Zverev went to the net and the duo shared a long hug with Novak all smiles for the 25-year old who now stands a chance to win the Olympics Gold. “You’re one of the greatest players of all time. I’m sorry,” Zverev said to Novak at the net as he then broke down in tears realising the magnitude of his victory.
“I’m 99% sure he’s going to win the most Grand Slams” says Alexander Zverev
It was no secret that Novak was chasing a historic Gold at this year’s Olympics and coming into the match unbeaten on Hardcourts in 13 matches on the surface. Having won all 3 Grand Slams of the year already, Novak was a hot favourite for the Gold Medal as well in order to complete a Career Golden Slam and also had a chance at Calendar Golden Slam provided he was able to win the 2021 US Open.
“I’m 99% sure he’s going to win the most Grand Slams, the most Masters 1000. I know he was playing for history, for the Golden Slam. I’m sorry but … We can’t win everything,” Zverev said after the match wishing the best for the Serbian who still stands a chance to win the Bronze Medal and has half of the season ahead of him.
Novak will now face Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in the Bronze Medal match for his 2nd Olympics Bronze while Zverev proceeds to the Gold Medal match where he will meet Russian Olympic Committee’s Karen Khachanov as both the Olympic debutants look to script history by winning the Gold medal in their first-ever Games.