Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev saved a match point in the Tokyo Olympics doubles final to beat Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-7 (5) 13-11 and win gold medal. Vesnina and Karatsev claimed the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead.
After earning the first break of the match, Vesnina and Karatsev's game shut down for the next couple of games as Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev claimed back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and take a 5-2 lead.
Vesnina and Karatsev served out the eighth game to reduce the deficit to 5-3 but Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev served out for the opener in the following game. After winning the first set, Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev had a chance to start the second set with a break but Vesnina and Karatsev saved two break points in the opening game.
Vesnina and Karatsev had two set points in the 10th game but Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev saved to ultimately force a tie-break. Vesnina and Karatsev took an early 4-1 lead in the tie-break but Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev then won five consecutive points to overturn the deficit and take a 5-4 lead.
However, Vesnina and Karatsev kept their focus as they won the following three points to force a decider.
Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev escaped with a win
Vesnina and Karatsev led 7-4 in the match tie-break but then Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev won five consecutive points to take a 9-7 lead.
After losing five consecutive points, Vesnina and Karatsev won three consecutive points to save two consecutive match points and earn their first match point. Vesnina and Karatsev failed to convert their first match point but also saved a third match point at 11-10.
However, Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev kept their focus after failing to convert three match points as they earned their fourrth match point and realized it to seal the win. In the semifinal, Vesnina and Karatsev beat Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic.
After the match, Vesnina felt sorry for Djokovic. “I feel sorry for Novak – it’s a tough day for him,” said Vesnina, per the ITF website. “But this is sport, this is tennis – the level is really high, the nerves are really high."