Elena Vesnina Explains What It Is Like To Play Against Novak Djokovic and Beat Him at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/30/2021, 11:45 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Mixed Doubles – Semifinal – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Nina Stojanovic of Serbia and Novak Djokovic of Serbia react before their semifinal match against Aslan Karatsev of the Russian Olympic Committee and Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee. REUTERS/Edgar Su


After announcing that she is pregnant, Russian doubles star Elena Vesnina retired from the professional tour late in 2018, only to return in 2021. She has now reached the mixed doubles gold medal match at Tokyo Olympics 2020 after defeating Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic with partner Aslan Karatsev. Accordingly, she stated that her comeback was worth it with the additional privilege to play against Djokovic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Earlier, Vesnina and Karatsev also ended up as the runner-ups at the French Open 2021. However, going past the Serbian World No.1 and winning a gold medal would mean more than anything to the two.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Mixed Doubles – Semifinal – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Aslan Karatsev of the Russian Olympic Committee and Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee react during their semifinal match against Nina Stojanovic of Serbia and Novak Djokovic of Serbia REUTERS/Edgar Su

Notably, the 34-year-old former doubles World No.1 had also won a gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics doubles event with Ekaterina Makarova. Yet, she felt her “dream come true” moment playing across the net from Djokovic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Elena Vesnina on her return to tennis and beating Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic came to Tokyo with hopes to continue his Golden Slam quest after winning 3 out of 3 Grand Slam events so far. Therefore, playing against such a champion made Vesnina’s comeback all the more fortunate.

“It was amazing to play against such a champion like Novak,” Vesnina said. “To beat him is an amazing achievement and makes being in the Olympic final all the more special. It’s an incredible feeling, and I still can’t believe it, but this has made every second of this comeback worth it.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Mixed Doubles – Semifinal – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Aslan Karatsev of the Russian Olympic Committee and Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee in action during their semifinal match against Nina Stojanovic of Serbia and Novak Djokovic of Serbia REUTERS/Edgar Su

Next up, Vesnina and Karatsev will play fellow Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev for the gold. Before that, Vesnina will join Veronika Kudermetova to play for a bronze medal against Team Brazil in Tokyo Olympics.

Seemingly, there aren’t many athletes who took a break to be a mother and stormed back to the top of the game. Now, it would be interesting to see if her dream run finds its treasure.

Watch this story: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Day Seven Medal Tally Update- China and Japan Lead

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Will Djokovic win a medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020?

The 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Djokovic still has a chance to win bronze again in Tokyo. In fact, he could win two bronze medals in the mixed doubles and singles category.

But unfortunately, Djokovic’s quest for the Golden Slam ended when German Alexander Zverev outclassed him in the singles semifinal bout. Indeed, it was one of the most glorious comebacks in a match ever coming from a set down.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Only time will tell now whether Djokovic would secure the two medals for his country. Do you think he can do it?

DIVE DEEPER

CLASH OF TITANS! Novak Djokovic vs Ashleigh Barty and More Action For Medal-Quest at Tokyo Olympics 2020 on Saturday

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Purav Joshi

1118 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT