ALAS! Elena Vesnina’s Team Misses 4 Match Points and Loses Bronze Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/31/2021, 4:54 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Doubles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee and Veronika Kudermetova of the Russian Olympic Committee in action during their bronze medal match against Laura Pigossi of Brazil and Luisa Stefani of Brazil REUTERS/Yara Nardi


Russian doubles star Elena Vesnina has made a stunning comeback coming out of retirement this season. After reaching the French Open 2021 mixed doubles final, she also made it into the Tokyo Olympics 2020 mixed doubles final. However, she lost the bronze medal in women’s doubles with partner Veronika Kudermetova against Brazilian Luisa Stefani and Laura Pigossi.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Coming into this match, Vesnina had an opportunity to conquer one of the two potential medals. Eventually, she and Team Russia scraped four match points to lose the medal at 6-4, 4-6, 9-11.

DIVE DEEPER

USA Fails to Grab a Tennis Medal in 101 Years as Venus and Serena Williams Skip Tokyo Olympics 2020

about 2 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Elena Vesnina and Team Russia take the first set in the bronze medal match in Tokyo Olympics 2020

Seemingly, Vesnina and Kudermetova enjoyed their tennis right from the first swing in this match. As a result of their confidence, they even secured the first break in the opening set, leading 2-0.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Doubles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee and Veronika Kudermetova of the Russian Olympic Committee in action during their bronze medal match against Laura Pigossi of Brazil and Luisa Stefani of Brazil REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Following that, Team Russian delivered a 40-0 hold, clarifying their dominance in the competition. However, at 4-2, Stefani and Pigossi stormed back and recovered their break loss.

Despite the recovery, Team Brazil did not find a free-flowing rhythm of quality shots as compared to the Russians. Consequently, at 5-4, the Brazilian pair did not hold the crucial game, losing the set 6-4.

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

Team Brazil makes a comeback against Vesnina and Kudermetova

Most significantly, Vesnina had the confidence of overcoming Novak Djokovic and his team in mixed doubles yesterday. But Team Brazil was not going to lose the medal without a fight.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Doubles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Laura Pigossi of Brazil and Luisa Stefani of Brazil in action during their bronze medal match against Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee and Veronika Kudermetova of the Russian Olympic Committee.REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Surprisingly, Stefani and Pigossi broke the Russian’s serve in the second set straightaway. The pair then comfortably managed to hold their lead to take the medal battle to the third set.

At 3-5, Russia saw off a set point to keep the second set alive. Now, the pressure had shifted to the Brazilians to close the set, and they did it without any hesitation. The score was 6-4, 4-6, with the third-set tiebreaker remaining.

The decider tie-breaker: Vesnina/Kudermetova vs. Stefani/Pigossi

After 1-1 in the decider, the Russians got a significant break in the race for the bronze medal. Impressively, Vesnina and Kudermetova converted that one break point into a 4-1 lead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Doubles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Elena Vesnina of the Russian Olympic Committee and Veronika Kudermetova of the Russian Olympic Committee in action during their bronze medal match against Laura Pigossi of Brazil and Luisa Stefani of Brazil REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Furthermore, the Russians got another free point due to the pressure and found themselves halfway near the medal. In no time, they stretched the lead from 5-1 to 8-3.

Stunning everyone, the Brazilians found momentum and saved four medal points to level the match at 9-9. Stefani and Pigossi booked the bronze medal for themselves in an epic turnaround, denying Vesnina and Team 6-4, 4-6, 9-11.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

For the gold medal in women’s doubles, Swiss professionals Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic will take on Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. Which pair would become the Tokyo Olympics women’s doubles champions?

DIVE DEEPER

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

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Purav Joshi

1122 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