Alexander Zverev of Germany follows up his semifinal upset of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic by winning the Olympic gold medal in men’s singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games, defeating Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-3, 6-1 in the Gold Medal match.
“There is nothing better than this,” says Zverev, the world No. 5 and whose previous best career result was a runner-up finish at the 2020 U.S. Open. “A gold medal at the Olympics, for me, the value is incredible because you’re not only playing for yourself, you’re playing for your whole country.”
Zverev needs only 79 minutes for the one-sided win over his 25th-ranked opponent to join 1988 Olympic gold medalist Steffi Graf as the only Germans to win Olympic singles gold. Boris Becker and Michael Stich of Germany paired to win Olympic gold in doubles in 1992.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach watched his fellow German win the title in a stadium only filled with officials and team delegation members due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The ban on fans attending any Olympic events allowed for a group of about 10 anti-Olympic protesters across the street from the Ariake Tennis Park to be heard inside center court during the first set of the final, but did not interrupt play.
Team Russia, branded the Russian Olympic Committee or “ROC” at the Tokyo Olympics due to the doping sanctions, however is able to secure a gold medal in mixed doubles in an all-Russian final, Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyvuchenkova beating Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-7 (5), (13-11) for the Gold Medal.
“We are winning gold for …. the ROC,” says Rublev, playing in his first ever mixed doubles tournament.
In the women’s doubles gold medal match, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Sinaikova beat Belinda Bencic, the Olympic gold medal winner in singles, and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 7-5, 6-1.
Belinda Bencic of Switzerland achieves something that her two fellow Swiss who ranked No. 1 world could not do in their career, winning Olympic gold in singles. The No. 12-ranked Bencic beats No. 42-ranked Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to win an unpredictable women’s singles event.
Federer lost the 2012 Olympic final to Andy Murray but did pair with Stan Wawrinka to win gold in men’s doubles in 2008. Hingis did not compete in the Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008 or 2012 but won silver in women’s doubles in 2016 with Timea Bacsinszky.
“I think I accomplished it for them,” Bencic said. “They did so much in their careers. I don’t think I will ever be able to accomplish what they did. So it’s for Martina and Roger.”
Marc Rosset was the only previous Swiss player to win gold in Olympic singles when he was the surprise winner at the 1992 Games in Barcelona. Bencic’s previous best career result prior to the Olympics was reaching the semifinals of the 2019 U.S. Open.
Bencic took a medical timeout midway through the third set to have the big toe on her right foot treated for an apparent blister. But she came back out and didn’t appear troubled.
“I really don’t know how it worked out for me,” Bencic said. “I really had a lot of belief in myself.”
In the bronze-medal playoff, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine defeated Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to win Ukraine’s first ever medal in tennis in the Olympic Games. Svitolina was competing in his first event since marrying fellow pro Gael Monfils, a member of France’s Olympic tennis team.
In the men’s bronze medal match, dominant world No. 1 is not able to shake off his upset loss in the semifinals the previous night to Alexander Zverev and surprisingly falls to Pable Carreno Busta of Spain 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
Djokovic then withdraws from the mixed doubles bronze medal match with partner Nina Stojanovic, handing the walkover victory to Ash Barty and John Peers in what have been an interest match featuring the world No. 1 woman against the world No. 1 man.
Croatia’s Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic defeated countrymen Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig to win men’s doubles gold 6-4, 3-6 (10-6). The bronze medal went to Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus as they defeated Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 7-6(3), 6-2 to capture an historic first Olympic tennis medal for New Zealand.