Tokyo 2020: Djokovic says 'history on the line' in Golden Slam bid
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Novak Djokovic lost a thrilling encounter with Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in the men’s bronze medal match at Tokyo 2020. Djokovic came into this summer’s Olympics with hopes of winning a ‘Golden Slam’ having already clinched the three majors so far in 2021.
A gold medal at Tokyo 2020 looked well on the cards as he sailed through his opening rounds.
But Germany’s Alexander Zverev proved a test too far for Djokovic, despite the world No 1 leading by a set and a break.
Zverev ended up advancing to the final, leaving Djokovic to compete for bronze against Carreno Busta.
And the Spaniard took a surprise lead after the first set as Djokovic failed to find his rhythm.
Djokovic began to discover his best form in the second set though, which ended up going to a tiebreak.
Still, Carreno Busta appeared in control at times as he was giving nothing away.
The 30-year-old had a match-point opportunity in the tiebreak, only for Djokovic to save it before winning three-straight points to force a deciding set.
With momentum on his side, Djokovic sensed an opportunity to find his first break of the match in the first game of the third set.
Carreno Busta was struggling to cope with Djokovic’s relentless approach, hanging on by a thread.
But Djokovic soon became frustrated at not being able to break down his opponent’s serve, at one point launching his racket into the stands.
Carreno Busta eventually held his serve and took full advantage of a dispondent Djokovic in the very next game.
He soon broke out into a 3-0 lead with Djokovic failing to find a way back into the match.
Eventually Carreno Busta was serving for the match and the bronze medal and at one stage it looked as though the moment may get the better of him.
Four more match points were saved by Djokovic, but Carreno Busta eventually got the job done before slumping to the floor in disbelief.
Djokovic, gracious in defeat, congratulated Carreno Busta at the net with a smile on his face.
He could still win a bronze medal later today in the mixed doubles when he faces off against Ashleigh Barty and John Peers.
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