Novak Djokovic will leave the Tokyo Olympics without a medal after falling in the men’s bronze medal match 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 against Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta, ending a painful 24 hours at the during which he lost three games. before forfeiting the mixed doubles bronze medal game to Ashleigh Barty and John Peers.
Djokovic, whose schedule was packed after victories at Roland Garros and Wimbledon before heading to the Olympics, said he has no regrets going to Tokyo in search of the “golden slam.” “.
“I believe there is no coincidence in life, everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I’ve had heartbreaking losses at the Olympics and some big tournaments in my career, and I know those losses have generally made me stronger. “
With a chuckle, Djokovic said he “will try to continue for the Paris Olympics” but he was cautious about his health heading into the US Open as he tried to win all four Grand Slam titles in 2021. After citing an injured shoulder during his withdrawal, Djokovic was visibly tired as he moved away from the mixed zone.
“I gave it my all – all I had left in the tank, which wasn’t so much,” he said. “I felt it on the pitch. The physical consequences will hopefully not create a problem for me for the US Open. This is something I am not sure about at the moment. But I don’t regret giving it my all because when you play for your country it is necessary.
On the other side of the net, his opponent’s effort was a determining factor in the game. Carreño Busta quickly took the lead, recovered after failing to convert a match point in the second set tie-break, then got angry in a long, tight game at the end.
His resilience left its mark on Djokovic, who threw a racket into the stands before destroying another in the third set. While the Serbian is often able to channel his anger into focused tennis, this time it has changed little his level of play. “It’s tense on the pitch,” he said. “In the heat of battle. It is not the first time and probably not the last time. It’s not nice, of course, but it’s part, I guess, of who I am. I don’t like to do these things.
For Carreño Busta, this result is further proof that he is in the form of his life. In the 12 months since the pandemic break, he has reached a semi-final at the US Open, a quarter-final at Roland Garros, and won his first ATP 500 title; he is in the top 10 players except name due to the ranking point freeze. He now has his first Olympic medal.
As he digested the accomplishment, the normally composed Spaniard sat on the floor with his head in his hands and cried.
“It’s amazing, I’ve never felt anything like this,” he said in his TV interview. “I didn’t win the tournament but it’s like the best title of my career. “