Tennis: Zverev beats Khachanov to clinch gold in men’s singles

Tennis: Zverev beats Khachanov to clinch gold in men’s singles
Alexander Zverev
TOKYO, AUG 1 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/1/2021 10:57:46 AM IST

German tennis player Alexander Zverev beat Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) 6-3, 6-1 to clinch the gold medal in the men’s singles tennis final of the Tokyo Olympics at the Ariake Tennis Park on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Zverev, yet to win a Grand Slam, was in imperious form during the final which lasted an hour and 19 minutes. He also became the first German male tennis player to win a singles Olympic gold. It was an easy straight-sets win for the world No. 5 Zverev to beat a misfiring Khachanov in the final after getting the better of top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals. Nothing could break his focus, including the 10 anti-Olympics protestors shouting from outside the centre court.

Zverev, the 2020 US Open finalist, secured the early break for 2-1 in the opening set. He held his serve until breaking again at 5-3 to take the first set.

Zverev’s domination continued further as he took an early second-set lead. It meant that Khachanov was outplayed by the superior stroke-play of Zverev.

At one point, he was staring at the embarrassment of the bagel. But Khachanov was able to put it off by winning his first match point of the set.

In the end, Zverev won the gold medal as Khachanov found the net, leading to the German dropping to his knees. Khachanov, cross with himself, smashed his racquet in frustration.

The gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics is likely to go down as one of the highlights of Zverev’s tennis career, alongside his ATP finals win in 2018 and four Masters titles.

Khachanov took the silver while Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta won the bronze after defeating Djokovic on Saturday.

Barbora-Katerina clinch women’s doubles gold

Top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova earned Czech Republic’s first gold medal in women’s doubles with a straight-sets victory over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic at the Olympics on Sunday.
Barbora, the French Open singles and doubles champion this year, and Katerina defeated the Belinda-Viktorija pair 7-5, 6-1, in the one hour and 25 minutes, becoming the first team from the Czech Republic to claim the women’s doubles gold.
Barbora and Katerina were the third Czech duo to reach the women’s doubles Olympic final. Helena Sukova and the late Jana Novotna -- Barbora’s former mentor -- had won silver in both the 1988 and 1996 Olympics, while Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka earned silver in 2012.
The reigning French Open champions went a step further on Sunday, becoming the first from their country to prevail in any of those finals. Barbora and Katerina converted five of their 11 break points, winning nine of the last 10 games to triumph.
Belinda and Viktorija earned Switzerland’s second straight Olympic silver medal in women’s doubles, following Timea Bacsinszky and Martina Hingis in 2016. Belinda, who defeated Barbora in the round of 16 of the singles event, will head home with two medals after clinching the gold in singles on Saturday.

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