The last days of the Tokyo Olympics were truly devastating for Novak Djokovic. The number 1 in the world was literally abandoned by his physique, having to postpone the appointment with a gold medal in singles. The Serbian star, one set and one break ahead against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals, suddenly collapsed losing 10 of the last 11 games of the match.
A psycho-physical collapse that was also confirmed in the 'final' for the bronze, in which Nole surrendered in three sets to the Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. As if that weren't enough, the 34-year-old from Belgrade was forced to forgo the bronze medal mixed doubles final due to a shoulder injury.
Despite the disappointment at the Games, Djokovic's dream of completing the 'Calendar Grand Slam' remains alive. Novak is the big favorite to take the title at the US Open, but it will be necessary to see if his physique will return to 100% within a month.
Expert Darren Cahill, Simona Halep's coach, analyzed the prospects of the 20-time Grand Slam champion in detail.
Darren Cahill on Novak Djokovic
“If Novak Djokovic wins the Grand Slam, nobody will say BUT…..
nobody who knows anything about tennis. He’s attempting to do something that no male has done since the great Rod Laver in 1969. It would be a monumental achievement. All focus to turn NY for Nole,” Darren Cahill said.
Speaking to the media after his loss to Carreno Busta, a disappointed Djokovic said he regretted not bringing home a medal for his country. The 20-time Major winner also revealed that mental and physical exhaustion contributed to his underwhelming display.
"[I] do have a regret for not winning a medal for my country, both in singles and mixed," Djokovic said. "I just didn’t deliever. Level of tennis dropped, also due to exhaustion mentally and physically."
The World No. 1, however, maintained that he didn't regret his decision to participate in Tokyo. Djokovic said he intends to take away important lessons from his defeats in the Japanese city. "I don’t regret coming to Olympics at all.
I believe that there are no coincidences in life, everything happens for a reason," Djokovic added. "I had some heartbreaking losses at Olympics and big tournaments, and I know that those losses have usually made me stronger.
I know that I will bounce back, I will try to keep going in Paris, to try to win a medal for my country." Djokovic said. "I am sorry I disappointed a lot of fans in Serbia, but that’s sport, I gave it all, whatever I had left in the tank, which was not so much."