Novak Djokovic’s dream of a Golden Grand Slam came crashing down as he had to leave the Tokyo Olympics empty-handed.
Djokovic, who had lost the semi-final clash to Alexander Zverev, lost his cool and then the bronze medal playoff against Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday.
He was supposed to play the mixed doubles bronze medal match later in the day, but pulled out of it with a shoulder injury.
Djokovic just tossed his racquet into the stand. No warning. pic.twitter.com/TMCv29dCnQ
— . (@Ashish__TV) July 31, 2021
Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic gave a walkover in the mixed doubles match, which meant their opponents Ash Barty and Jonathan Peers of Australia claimed the bronze.
Carreno Busta claimed the bronze medal in the tennis men’s singles with 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 over Djokovic.
As the World No 1 could feel his chance of a medal slipping away, he lost his cool on court. The Serb threw a racquet in the empty stands and then was seen smashing the racquet on the court near the net post.
Djokovic was given a warning for racquet abuse for the first offence but received no point penalty after the second, much to Carreno Busta’s bemusement.
The last time these two clashed in front of empty stands was at the 2020 US Open, when Djokovic was defaulted for hitting a line umpire accidentally with a ball.
“I hope that the physical consequences won’t create a problem for me for the US Open,” said Djokovic after the match.
“That is something I am not sure about right now, but there are no regrets, you have to give your all for your country.”
Saturday’s loss to Carreno Busta was the first time since the ATP Tour Finals in 2019 that Djokovic had lost two consecutive matches.
The result also meant that the 20-times Grand Slam champion will leave the Olympics without a medal for the third Games in succession.
He won the bronze at the Beijing Games in 2008 before losing to Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in London four years later.