The Tokyo Olympics ended in the worst possible way for Novak Djokovic. The number 1 in the world, who was chasing the dream of achieving the 'Calendar Golden Slam', saw everything vanish within a few hours. A set and a break ahead of Alexander Zverev in the semifinals, the Serbian champion suffered a psycho-physical decline that knocked him down to the point of losing 10 of the last 11 games of the match.
The final for the bronze did not go better, in which he surrendered to an excellent Pablo Carreno Busta for 6-4 6-7 6-3 at the end of a grueling battle. Given his less than perfect physical condition, the 20-time Grand Slam champion preferred not to take risks by retiring from the mixed doubles.
During the match against Carreno Busta, the 34-year-old from Belgrade indulged in some nervous gestures, even having thrown his racket into the stands. The Spaniard expressed all his disappointment when he realized that Nole had not even been given a warning.
Speaking on Eurosport, expert Annabel Croft analyzed Djokovic's behavior.
Croft comments on Novak Djokovic
“We have to remember where Novak Djokovic was this year. He was undefeated in Grand Slam action. He was going for that Golden Slam.
Obviously bitterly, bitterly disappointed not to be able to get past [Alexander] Zverev in that semi-final,” Annabel Croft told Eurosport. “Both of these players going for the bronze medal is not what they wanted, they came for the event, but of course, they’ve got to pick themselves up.
Of course, in tennis you lose in a tournament, you go home, you practice, and you get ready for another tournament. It’s an unusual scenario, you’ve got to pick yourself up very quickly and go for another win and that’s exactly what Carreno Busta has done in fantastic fashion and he really earned it.
There was a lot of history between these two because – remember when Djokovic was doing a similar thing last year, he was trying to win another US Open title and he got defaulted out of the US Open last year for smashing a ball back towards a line judge.
He didn’t mean to do it but it hit her and he got defaulted out of the tournament against this very opponent. He (Carreno Busta) was clearly trying to get the umpire to give him (Djokovic) another warning [for throwing his racket].
Who knows whether that would have meant disqualification again or what have you. So it was quite an interesting moment and showed a lot of tension between the two of them and unfortunately for Djokovic he couldn’t contain his emotions out there and it was Carreno Busta who came through”.