San Francisco Chronicle

Djokovic loses bid at a ‘Golden Slam’

The top-ranked Serb lost to Alexander Zverev of Germany in the tennis semifinals.

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TOKYO — There will be no Golden Slam for Novak Djokovic. The topranked Serb lost to Alexander Zverev of Germany 16, 36, 61 in the semifinals of the tennis tournament Friday.

Djokovic, 34, was attempting to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam tournament­s and Olympic gold in the same year. He won the Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon this year and needed the Olympic and U.S. Open titles to complete the collection.

“I feel so terrible right now,” Djokovic said. “I can’t be positive right now.”

Steffi Graf in 1988 remains the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam.

Zverev was sympatheti­c — to a point.

“I told him that he’s the greatest of all time,” he said. “I know that he was chasing history. He won 20 Grand Slams, so you can’t have everything.”

Djokovic conceded, “He played better. I got to give him credit for turning (the) match around. He served extremely well. I mean I was not getting too many looks on the second serve. My serve just drasticall­y dropped. I didn’t get any free points from 32 up in the second. My game fell apart.”

Zverev’s opponent in the goldmedal match will be Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee. He beat Pablo Carreño Busta 63, 63.

Djokovic came back on the court a little more than an hour later to play with Serbian partner Nina Stojanovic in the mixed doubles semifinals and lost that match, too, getting beaten by the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 76 (4), 75.

Djokovic, whose only Olympic medal was bronze in 2008, will play two bronzemeda­l matches Saturday, in singles and mixed doubles.

“I feel terrible right now in every sense but tomorrow hopefully fresh start I can recover and at least win one medal for my country,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic can still go after the calendarye­ar Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Open — something no man has accomplish­ed since Rod Laver in 1969. He is already the first man since Laver that year to win the first three major tournament­s in a season.

 ?? Clive Brunskill / Getty Images ?? Novak Djokovic’s semifinal loss to Alexander Zverev on Friday ended his dream of a “Golden Slam” in 2021.
Clive Brunskill / Getty Images Novak Djokovic’s semifinal loss to Alexander Zverev on Friday ended his dream of a “Golden Slam” in 2021.
 ??  ?? Maggie Steffens set the Olympic women’s water polo scoring record.
Maggie Steffens set the Olympic women’s water polo scoring record.

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