Tokyo Olympics: Zverev nets tennis gold as Djokovic conqueror lands brutal win over Khachanov

By Sports Desk August 01, 2021

Alexander Zverev followed up his stunning win over Novak Djokovic by storming to Olympic gold in the men's singles final.

A thumping 6-3 6-1 victory against Russian Olympic Committee's Karen Khachanov was the perfect way for world number five Zverev to land the biggest title of his career.

He won 10 of the last 11 games of his semi-final against world number one Djokovic and carried that form into Sunday's title match, brushing aside the threat across the net.

It makes him Germany's first men's singles champion at the Olympics. Steffi Graf won the women's title as part of a calendar Golden Slam in 1988, and four years later Boris Becker and Michael Stich teamed up to take doubles gold.

For the man who won the ATP Finals in 2018 and reached last year's US Open title match, this marked a step forward in a career many expect will eventually feature grand slam titles.

He secured a swift break in the first set against Khachanov, who was outstanding in the semi-finals against Pablo Carreno Busta but could not impose his game in the gold-medal match.

Another break followed and the set was gone in 43 minutes.

The second set rushed by in a mere 36 minutes, with Zverev against striking early and never looking back.

He created two break points in the second game of that set, and although Khachanov saved them, a third soon followed and the Russian netted on the forehand.

The momentum was all one way and there was never a moment when Khachanov, ranked 25th by the ATP, looked as though he might pose some danger. 

Zverev gave himself a first match point when he punched away a backhand volley, and the glory belonged to the German when Khachanov slapped a forehand into the net on the next point.


BENCIC DENIED GOLDEN DOUBLE

Belinda Bencic was the surprise champion in the women's singles and the Swiss had a chance to land a second gold medal on Sunday when she and Swiss partner Viktorija Golubic lined up in the doubles final.

It was not to be for Bencic and Golubic, however, as they were soundly beaten by the prolific Czech pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

A 7-5 6-1 win for the reigning French Open champions meant Bencic and Golubic were left with the silver medal.

But there was little in the way of regret for the Swiss pair, with Bencic showing off both her gold and silver medals after the match, saying: "We are overjoyed. We will fly back on Monday with other medallists. It's a great feeling to know people are waiting and they acknowledge the medals we won for our country.

"The week here was incredibly beautiful. We experienced so many emotions, and it's great to go back and share all of these emotions with everyone at home.

"It's not just about the medals or the titles, it's about the memories you create that will last forever. To share this with Viki is unbelievable.

"The whole week I never felt like I was in a normal tournament or playing alone. She was alongside me the entire way. I always tell her we won this gold medal together as well. When we will be 80 years old and have a coffee, we will talk about this moment and I cannot wait for that."

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