Alexander Zverev produced a dominant performance against Karen Khachanov to clinch the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The world No.5 dropped just five games during his 6-3, 6-1, win over his Russian rival. Impressively Zverev won 84% of his first service points and hit 27 winners against 15 unforced errors in the 79-minute match. It is the third time the German has won a title this season after the Mexican Open and Madrid Masters.
“It’s incredible; this is the biggest tournament you can win in any sport doesn’t matter what anybody else says doesn’t matter what some of the tennis players say,” Tennis Now quoted Zverev as telling the Olympic Channel.
“I can’t believe it. I’m an Olympic gold medalist. This is not even something you can dream about. It’s like so far away. It’s the first time in my life I don’t know what to say in an interview—this is how much it means.”
Zverev’s milestone win came just 24 hours after he stunned world No.1 Novak Djokovic in three sets to end his bid for a Golden Slam in 2021. Earlier in the tournament, he also scored wins over Kei Nishikori, Jeremy Chardy, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Daniel Elahi Galán and Lu Yen-Hsun.
The 24-year-old has become the first player from his country to win a gold medal in singles since Steffi Graf did so back in 1988. The year tennis returned to the Olympic Games. Since then the only other German success in the Games occurred in the doubles with Boris Becker and Michael Stich claiming silver in 1992.
“Because this tournament is not about yourself; I didn’t walk on court for one second for me,” Zverev said. “I walked on court for everybody back at home, everybody here at the village, the whole country of Germany. I never gave up and never lost the spirit.”
Meanwhile, Khachanov can take comfort in being the first Russian man to win a singles medal at the games since Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the title back in 2000. Tokyo was also the first time he has reached a singles final of any sort since winning the 2018 Paris Masters.
“You can analyse as much as you want, but we played an outstanding match from my point of view,” Khachanov told the Olympic News Service. “That’s how I felt, I tried to do basically the same things, had the same game plan. But, you know, he was just better, really. All credit to him.”
On Saturday Pablo Carreno Busta claimed the bronze medal after beating Djokovic in three sets.
PREVIEW: Vasek Pospisil Looking To Lead Canada At Davis Cup Finals
The Canadian will look to lead his team one step further after reaching the final in Madrid back in 2019.
It’s not an ideal situation when two of your best players decide not to play and represent their country but that is what has happened to Canada with both Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.
Both players citing the need for rest after a long and taxing season that literally gives them less than two months to rest and recuperate before the off-season preparations and a trip down under for the Australian tennis season.
Pospisil leads a team with Brayden Schnur, Peter Polansky and replacement Steven Diez. While on paper all players are ranked outside the top 100 Canada still has good chances of getting past the group stage.
In their way are Sweden and Kazakhstan. They will open their tournament on Thursday in Madrid against the Swedes before facing the Kazaks on Sunday morning at the Madrid Arena.
Once again two wins will be needed and it will be a busy week for Pospisil who will be called upon to play singles and doubles, which has been confirmed by team captain Frank Dancevic.
The million-dollar question is who will be Canada’s number two singles player and who will play with the Vernon, BC native? Dancevic is yet to confirm this.
Schnur was an alternate player on the team last time, Polansky wasn’t even called upon and it’s been 10 years since Diez even represented his country so the experience isn’t there.
But then again anything can happen in Davis Cup and looking at the other teams Sweden will use Elias and Mikael Ymer while Kazakhstan will rely on the highest-ranked player in the group Alexander Bublik with teammate Mikhael Kukushin.
It’s all to play for in the Spanish capital and Canada is coming off an incredible run in 2019 which ended up in them losing to Spain in the final where they were able to show the world they are here to play.
Canada suffers massive blow as Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime pull out of Davis Cup
The two tennis stars cited fatigue and injury as the reason why they have chosen not to play in the team event.
Canada will be without its top two players as they head to Madrid for the Davis Cup Finals.
After losing in the Stockholm Open final at the weekend, Denis Shapovalov made it official that he was pulling out of the Davis Cup Finals citing he needed to rest and take time off.
“Unfortunately, I will not take part in the Davis Cup Finals,” Shapovalov said in a statement. “It’s always a pleasure and an honor for me to represent my country in the Davis Cup, but I need some rest in the offseason.”
Shortly after Felix Auger Aliassime also released a statement confirming that he was pulling out as well due to a nagging injury and also stated he needed some time off as well.
So far Canada has only called up Steven Diez as a replacement for the team that currently has Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky, and Brayden Schnur. It is a massive blow for a team that looked like a heavy favorite.
Team captain Frank Dancevic also commentated on the situation by saying he understands why both players have decided not to play.
“We know that Félix and Denis have always made the Davis Cup one of their top priorities since the beginning of their professional careers, and even before that since they had won the Junior Davis Cup for Canada in 2015,” said Dancevic. “But it’s been a long and even more trying season due to the protocols and measures put in place to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and we completely understand their decision.’
“We know that we can count on Félix and Denis’ support and leadership in the years to come. That said, we are delighted to have Steven (Diez) join us for the Finals. Although Steven doesn’t have much Davis Cup experience, he has proven time and time again that he’s an incredible team player and that he’s able to adapt to various situations.”
Diez, who is 30 years old, has only played Davis Cup once before which was 11 years ago back in 2010 in a Group 1 semi-final tie against Columbia. His career-high ranking was 134 in 2019 and his best result was making the final of an ATP Challenger event in Spain.
The Davis Cup Finals will be held in Madrid, Innsbruck, and Turin beginning on the 25th of November. Canada will be based in Madrid in a group with Sweden and Kazakhstan.
Canada faces Sweden on the 25th and Kazakhstan on the 28th of November. The last time around made the final back in 2019 before losing to Spain.
Great Britain Handed Tough Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers Draw Against Czech Republic
Great Britain have a tough test in the Czech Republic in the BJK Cup qualifiers in April.
Great Britain will need to beat the Czech Republic away if they want to qualify for next year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals after the draw was made today.
Anne Keothavong’s team beat Mexico earlier in the year to earn a place in the qualifiers next year.
However in today’s draw, Great Britain will need to overcome a huge test as they will go to the Czech Republic next April.
Czech Republic have won six of the last nine Billie Jean King Cups and boast the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Krejcikova, Marketa Vondrousova, Katarina Siniakova and Petra Kvitova.
Speaking after the draw Keothavong is looking forward to the test that awaits them in April, “The team are really looking forward to taking on Czech Republic in our 2022 qualifier and hopefully continuing our momentum in the Billie Jean King Cup next year,” she told skysports.com.
The Czechs are currently hosting this year’s finals and fell at the semi-final stage after losing a tight match to Switzerland.
Other key matches sees a repeat of this year’s group stage match between Belgium and Belarus while USA will host Elina Svitolina’s Ukraine team.
Here are the ties with the qualifiers taking place on the 15-16th of April next year with the finals happening next November:
Czech Republic v Great Britain
Australia v Slovakia
France v Italy
USA v Ukraine
Belarus v Belgium
Germany v Kazakhstan
Canada v Latvia
Spain v Netherlands
The ATP reveals the nominees for the 2021 Awards
Serbia tops Kazakhstan to set up Davis Cup semifinal against Croatia
1st December 2021: The Day Women’s Tennis Held China Accountable For Their Actions
WTA Suspends All Tournaments In China With Immediate Effect
Former World No.4 Johanna Konta Retires From Tennis
Novak Djokovic Says ‘Media Propaganda’ Won’t Stop Him From Speaking Out
Roger Federer Hopes To End Career On His Own Terms But Wimbledon 2022 In Serious Doubt
‘Leader Of The Next Generation’ – Novak Djokovic Hails Medvedev After Paris Clash
Rafael Nadal To Play Australian Open Warm-Up Event In Abu Dhabi
REPORT: China Censors Naomi Osaka’s Weibo Account Over Peng Shuai Support
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
Hot Topics3 days ago
Emma Raducanu Sheds Light On Work With ‘Infectious’ Coach Beltz
Hot Topics2 days ago
IOC Plays Down Reported Use Of Translator During Video Call With Peng Shuai
Hot Topics3 days ago
New Covid-19 Variant, New Headache For Tennis Australia’s 2022 Masterplan
ATP23 hours ago
Rafael Nadal To Skip ATP Cup Ahead Of Australian Open
Latest news2 days ago
Former Australian Davis Cup Players Slam Organisers Over Reported Move To Abu Dhabi
Latest news3 days ago
The Russian Tennis Federation scores come-back win over Spain to secure quarter final spot in the Davis Cup
Latest news3 days ago
‘We Competed Like Animals’ – Defending Champions Spain Knocked Out Of Davis Cup Finals
Hot Topics19 hours ago
Former World No.4 Johanna Konta Retires From Tennis