Leaving the Tokyo Olympic setback behind him, Novak Djokovic has set eyes on the ultimate glory and a calendar Grand Slam at the US Open. The Serb scored the 22nd consecutive win at Majors this year after beating Holger Rune in four sets, staying calm despite the crowd's negative vibe and passing the first obstacle in his most important tournament in a career.
Patrick Mouratoglou urges Novak to keep his composure and avoid the scenes from Tokyo when he lost ground against Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta. Djokovic could not easily accept those two defeats, smashing his racquet towards the empty stands and unleashing his anger while watching the gold medal fade from his hands.
In the semis, Novak led 6-1, 3-2 against Alexander before losing ground and struggling in the rest of the clash to claim one of the last 11 games and propel the German into the gold medal clash. In the bronze medal match, Carreno Busta beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 after two hours and 47 minutes to leave Novak without a medal.
The Spaniard defended all six break chances and stole the Serb's serve once in sets one and three to cross the finish line first. Pablo served for the opener at 5-4 and saved a couple of break chances to close it and gain momentum.
Both players served well in the second set, with no opportunities for the returners. At 5-6 in the tie break, Novak saved a match point with a service winner and won it 8-6 after an extended rally in the 14th point that sent them into a decider and gave him an energy boost.
Novak Djokovic lost two tight encounters at the Tokyo Olympics.
Pablo saved a break chance 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. "Novak lost it a bit at the Olympics, going crazy angry and suffering two losses.
I can feel it building, and he must deal with his nerves in New York. Novak got very angry against Alexander Zverev in Tokyo, and that defeat left a bad taste in his mouth that he needs to get rid of," Patrick Mouratoglou said.