Pablo Carreno Busta claimed the only tennis medal for Spain at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Pablo lost the semi-final clash with Karen Khachanov before bouncing back to beat world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 after two hours and 47 minutes to claim the bronze and secure one of his most cherished victories.
Djokovic had a massive 6-1, 3-2 advantage against Alexander Zverev in the semis before losing ground and dropping ten of the final 11 games to propel the German through. Stepping on the court the next day against the Spaniard, Novak gave his best to claim the bronze, but it wasn't to be for him, as Carreno Busta saved all six break points and produced two breaks that carried him through.
The Spaniard thought it was all over when Djokovic claimed the second set, but he started all over and took the third to bring a medal for his country. Carreno Busta survived challenging opening service games and broke Djokovic at love at 2-2 to move in front.
Pablo Carreno Busta claimed the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo over Novak Djokovic.
Novak saved two set points on serve at 3-5 and created a couple of break chances in the next one. Pablo stayed focused and erased those to close the set on his third set point and gain a massive boost.
Both players served well in the second set, with no chances for the returners. At 5-6 in the tie break, Novak saved a match point with a service winner and won the breaker 8-6 after an extended rally in the 14th point that sent them into a decider.
Pablo saved a break point at the beginning of the final set and forced Novak's error in the next one to grab a break that would prove to be crucial. The Spaniard produced three comfortable holds after that and served for the bronze at 5-3.
Djokovic saved four match points before Carreno Busta converted the fifth to celebrate one of his most notable victories and secure a medal for Spain. "I think this is my most significant achievement; it's incredible.
After yesterday's loss, I felt people's love & support, and I had to give my all. I've been able to overcome losing the second set thanks to all the support. It's just bronze, but I gave my all. Thanks! I'm in a cloud.
After losing the second set against Novak, I thought it was over. Beating world no. 1 is very tough. After losing the second set, I thought I'd not be able to do it. But I was. It's incredible. I came here for a medal; it's been tough, but I've got it! It's for my girlfriend, my mother, Gijon, Spain," Pablo Carreno Busta said.