Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta Upsets World No 1 Novak Djokovic to Win Bronze Medal in Tokyo
10:38 GMT 31.07.2021 (Updated: 10:46 GMT 31.07.2021)
© EDGAR SUTokyo 2020 Olympics - Tennis - Men's Singles - Bronze medal match - Ariake Tennis Park - Tokyo, Japan - July 31, 2021. Pablo Carreno of Spain reacts after winning his bronze medal match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia REUTERS/Edgar Su
© EDGAR SU
20-time Grand Slam champion Novak's Djokovic's bad luck at the Olympics has continued in Tokyo. Djokovic, who has never progressed through to an Olympic final, first lost his bid to claim a “Golden Slam” to Germany's Alexander Zverev on Friday, and on Saturday, he was defeated in the bronze medal match as well in the Japanese capital.
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Sixth-seeded Carreno Busta, who had earlier taken out World No 2 Daniil Medvedev in the competition, bounced back from his disappointing 6-3, 6-3 loss to Karen Khachanov of Russia in the semifinals, to stun Djokovic in a topsy-turvy encounter which lasted 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Olympic debutant Carreno Busta arrived in Tokyo on the back of a title-winning run in Hamburg and hit prime form against Djokovic as his strategy to neutralise the 34-year-old with his aggressive play from the baseline paid rich dividends against him.
The Spaniard outhit Djokovic as he struck the ball with brute force from both flanks during the clash.
Carreno Busta laid down a marker in the opening set itself, when, despite Djokovic's best efforts, he was able to fend off a couple of break points on his own serve.
Subsequently, his superior play led him to take the first set as Djokovic's poor percentage (44%) on his first serve cost him dearly.
Even though the reigning Wimbledon champion made a comeback by claiming the second set in a tiebreaker, Carreno Busta quickly regained his rhythm before coasting to a 3-0 lead in the third set.
In the end, he hit a total of seven winners in the deciding set to seal the deal against Djokovic in Tokyo.