Spread the news

Novak Djokovic maintained his Golden Slam bid by thumping Japanese hope Kei Nishikori to reach the men’s Olympic tennis semi-finals, while his chief gold-medal rival Daniil Medvedev was dumped out on Thursday.

In the women’s draw, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic set up a final against Naomi Osaka’s conqueror Marketa Vondrousova with a marathon victory over Kazakh Elena Rybakina.

World number one Djokovic, who has already sealed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles this season, brushed aside Nishikori 6-2, 6-0 in just 70 minutes.

“My best performance of the tournament tonight against a very good, very good opponent,” said Djokovic, who is looking to emulate Steffi Graf’s 1988 Golden Slam – winning all four majors and the Olympic singles in the same year.

“I feel I had an answer for everything he had.”

The Serb did not have to be in peak form against an opponent who offered very little and made 16 unforced errors.

The 34-year-old Djokovic, whose best Olympic result was a bronze medal in Beijing 13 years ago, will face German Alexander Zverev in the last four on Friday after the fourth seed’s 6-4, 6-1 win over Jeremy Chardy.

Djokovic looked comfortable throughout against Nishikori, with the match played in cooler conditions than earlier rounds after he and Medvedev were among players to lobby organisers to change the schedule. The day’s start time was pushed back from 11:00 am local time (0200 GMT) to 3:00 pm.

“It’s great that we’re playing in the afternoon hours, so we don’t experience too much heat, although it’s still very, very humid,” he added.

Djokovic will now be the hot favourite to reach the final for the first time.

He holds a 6-2 winning record over Zverev and has beaten the world number five in their last five meetings.

– ‘I wanted to change my skin’ –

The top seed could still win two golds in Tokyo, after he teamed up with Nina Stojanovic to reach the mixed doubles semis, beating Germany’s Kevin Krawietz and Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-2.

Daniil Medvedev was frustrated during his loss to Pablo Carreno Busta

Djokovic’s path to singles glory was made easier when second seed Medvedev was dumped out by Pablo Carreno Busta.

Spaniard Carreno Busta, on his Olympic debut, set up a semi-final with another Russian, Karen Khachanov, by beating an out-of-sorts Medvedev 6-2, 7-6 (75).

Medvedev, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, made 26 unforced errors as he struggled to find his usual rhythm, smashing his racquet in frustration at the end of the match before again complaining about the heat.

“I wanted to change my skin because I was sweating like I never did before. It was terrible,” he said.

Khachanov had earlier battled past France’s Ugo Humbert 7-6 (74), 4-6, 6-3.

Earlier ninth seed Bencic, who also reached the women’s doubles final with Viktorija Golubic, had to dig deep to edge out Rybakina after playing for two hours and 44 minutes in the searing heat first up on centre court.

She saved five set points in the opening set before winning 7-6 (72), 4-6, 6-3.

Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open runner-up, stands in her way on Saturday after again impressing against a high seed by thrashing Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1.

An emotional Belinda Bencic battled past Elena Rybakina to reach the women’s final

Read Also: Ugandan weightlifter to face charge over Olympics disappearance

“I don’t feel pressure right now. I just feel joy to have a medal,” said an emotional Bencic.

Czech left-hander Vondrousova, ranked 42nd, won the pair’s only previous meeting earlier this year in Miami.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “Maybe it’ll sink in later.”

The men’s doubles final will be just the third Olympic final between the same country – with Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig to play compatriots Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic on Friday.

Women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty kept her golden dream alive despite defeats in the singles and women’s doubles, reaching the mixed doubles semi-finals with John Peers after victory over Greek stars Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The post Djokovic romps into last four as Bencic reaches Olympic final appeared first on Sporting Life.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Spread the news
CONTACT US : support@melodyinter.com
Previous articleFootball revenue down €3.7bn due to COVID across Europe
Next articleAlphonse Areola signs for West Ham on loan

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here