Saturday, July 31, 2021

Novak Djokovic Loses, Throws Tantrum in Olympics Farewell

I like the guy, but he's volatile and a sore loser. He hit a line judge in the neck last year

He's won three grand slam tournaments this year, and he'd hoped to make this year a "Golden Slam" with another victory in Tokyo.

Now he's out. 

At NYT, "Novak Djokovic, King of the Olympic Village, Loses Run at Golden Slam":

TOKYO — Novak Djokovic’s dream of a Golden Slam ended in the early hours of another thick night at the Olympics, on one last searing winner off the racket of Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

Zverev stormed back from a set and a service break down to beat Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 ranked men’s player, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, scoring a stunning upset of an all-time great who had seemed nearly invincible lately and well on his way to pulling off a feat no male tennis player had achieved.

Djokovic was trying to win all four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympic gold medal in a calendar year. He had won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon and came to Tokyo looking for the fourth jewel. The United States Open takes place at the end of the summer.

Djokovic appeared to be on cruise control when he broke Zverev’s serve to get to within three games of the match in the second set. Zverev swatted a ball skyward in frustration. He appeared destined to meet with a quick end, like Djokovic’s first four victims in Tokyo.

But with little to lose, Zverev began unleashing his booming serve and setting up a series of crushing forehands to take control, and Djokovic started inexplicably spraying his shots off the court.

“Terrible, just terrible,” Djokovic said, when asked how he was feeling at the end of a night that also included a loss in the mixed doubles semifinal.

Djokovic tried to slow Zverev’s momentum with a long bathroom break between the second and third sets, as he has done in tense moments in the past. But it didn’t work and in the two-of-three-set format he did not have the cushion that the marathon afforded during Grand Slam matches, which require three of five sets to win...

Very interesting. 

Apparently Tokyo was an image rehab event for him. Djokvic was even photographed doing the splits with Belgian gymnasts.

Rough life.