Novak Djokovic Denied Another Gold Medal, Doubles Specialist Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev Proceed to Take on Compatriots at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/30/2021, 9:38 AM 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 walk on court ahead of their semifinal match against Aslan Karatsev of the Russian Olympic Committee and Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee REUTERS/Edgar Su


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has made front-page headlines, ever since its extravagant inaugural last week. The mega-event has garnered world attention, courtesy of some breathtaking encounters. Tennis fans, in particular, have thoroughly enjoyed the tournament, despite a few heartbreaking results.

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On course to its conclusion, the event was about to witness yet another enthralling semi-final clash. In pursuit of gold, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic teamed up with Nina Stojanović to go head to head with Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev.

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Undoubtedly, going into the semi-finals, Novak Djokovic’s team was termed as favorites. With the world no.1 leading the attack, a place in the finals was assured. However, Vesnina’s incredible doubles record spoke for her caliber. The 34-year-old Russian has won the doubles event at every major Grand slam in her career. Hence, the battle of the two was surely one to watch.

First set shock for Novak Djokovic

Neither of the teams batted an eye going into the first set. Putting their A-game on display, they left no room for errors whatsoever. Even as the Russians attained the all-important service break in game 3, the Serb crushed their lead right away, keeping the first set balanced. Despite their relentless attack, the Russians played their defensive best, taking the game to a tie-break. Halfway through, the scores read 6-6 at game 10.

Heading into the tie-break, the odds had shifted. Despite dominating all along, the Serb’s lost their lead and were put under pressure right away. They fought hard for a place back but were canceled out to ruthless attacking from the Russian. As the scoreline read 7-6, Vesnina drove her team one step closer to a possible gold medal, winning the first set in thrilling style.

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

Both teams started the second set, looking to gain the upper hand in the match. As one played to seal the deal, the other fought hard for a second chance. Notably, Djokovic played with his heart on the sleeve, unleashing his inner beast. The Serbs took an early lead in the game, as the scores read 4-3 halfway through.

Fighting hard for a spot in the finals, the Serbs channelized their inner strength. They recorded 65% wins on their first serve and won a remarkable 6 out of 6 points on the second serve. As the tables turned, it was the Russian’s now, fighting hard to bury the game, while Djokovic and team looked to edge closer to the finals.

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Big twist

The Serb’s looked like sealing the deal in the second set and taking the match to a decider tie-break. However, the Russian’s stepped up to ruin their party. Having a laid-back approach throughout the second set, fans expected a different outcome in the end. However, the Russians woke up in game 9, broke the Serbs defense, and snatched their lead. One game away from a remarkable win, the scores read 5-4, it was time for a winner.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Semifinal – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his semifinal match against Alexander Zverev of Germany REUTERS/Mike Segar

After a relentless battle, the game had its deserving winner. Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev denied Novak Djokovic and team, of yet another gold. A historic win for the Russians as they finish the game in straight sets, 7-6, 7-5.

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Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

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