The top-ranked Serbian tennis superstar was in pursuit of becoming the first man to win all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold all in the same year. Only Germany’s Steffi Graf has been able to accomplish this feat.
Djokovic had already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon and needed Olympic gold and a U.S. Open victory to complete the feat. Graf pulled off the accomplishment in 1988.
Djokovic will get to compete for a bronze medal against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. Zverev will go up against Russian Karen Khachanov.
The Serbian looked dominant in the first set and even had a 3-2 lead int the second set before losing it to Zverev. It was the first time during the Olympics that Djokovic had lost a set. Zverev took the last nine of 10 games from Djokovic to seal the victory and thrust him into the gold medal game.
At the end of the match on a hot night in Tokyo, Djokovic congratulated Zverev on the win. The two exchanged some words and the pair walked off.
Djokovic can pursue a gold medal in mixed doubles. He and his partner, Nina Stojanovic, were to play the Russian Olympic Committee’s Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev in the semifinals of that event.