Tokyo Olympics: Belinda Bencic wins gold but Djokovic leaves with no medals

TOKYO (Agencies): Belinda Bencic became the first Swiss woman to win Olympic tennis gold as a racquet-smashing Novak Djokovic left Tokyo without a medal.
Bencic beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova 7-5 2-6 6-3 in the singles, and could still add another gold in the doubles.
Earlier, a frustrated Djokovic lost to Pablo Carreno Busta in the men’s singles as the Spaniard took bronze. The Serb later withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze match because of a shoulder injury.
“I gave it all, whatever I had left in the tank, which was not so much. I felt it out on the court,” said Djokovic, who threw one racquet and smashed another in a 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 loss to Carreno Busta.
The Spaniard, who was Djokovic’s opponent last year when the Serb was defaulted for hitting a line judge with a ball, fell to the court in joy when he sealed victory on his sixth match point. Alexander Zverev, who ended Djokovic’s title bid on Friday, takes on Russian Karen Khachanov for singles gold on Sunday.
Bencic guaranteed to take home two medals
Bencic joined Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, who won gold in the men’s doubles at Beijing 2008, and 1992 singles champion Marc Rosset as a Swiss Olympic tennis champion. The world number 12 was made to work hard for the victory in a match lasting two and a half hours.
The 24-year-old trailed by an early break in the third set against world number 42 Vondrousova, but immediately broke back and got a decisive break in the eighth game before serving out the win.
She gets the chance on Sunday to win a second gold medal when she teams up with Viktorija Golubic to face Czech top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in the women’s doubles final.
Ukrainian Elina Svitolina won the bronze singles medal after coming from behind to beat Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.
Svitolina, 26, had trailed 4-1 in the deciding set but reeled off five games in a row to become her country’s first Olympic medallist in tennis.
Djokovic loses cool as medal chances slip by
Djokovic had arrived at the Games seeking to become the first man to win a ‘Golden Slam’ – Olympic gold plus all four Grand Slams. He had already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year and will still have the opportunity to complete a rare calendar Grand Slam at the US Open, which starts at the end of August.
But these Games, where big rivals Federer and Rafael Nadal were not playing, represented his best chance of the ‘Golden Slam’ with his next opportunity now not until 2024, when he will be 37.
Djokovic saved a match point against Carreno Busta in the second set to force a decider but his frustrations boiled over early in the third when he failed to break, throwing one racquet into the empty stands and smashing another against the net post as the Spaniard held his nerve for victory. Djokovic would have had another opportunity for a medal later in the day but he withdrew from his mixed doubles bronze-medal match with a shoulder injury. He and Nina Stojanovic had been due to face Australians John Peers and Ashleigh Barty.
“I do have a regret for not winning a medal for my country,” Djokovic said. “Opportunities missed both in doubles and singles. I didn’t deliver yesterday and today, the level of tennis dropped, also due to exhaustion, mentally and physically.

“The consequences physically hopefully will not create a problem for me for US Open. That’s something that I’m not sure about right now.

“But I don’t regret coming to the Olympics at all. Everything happens for a reason, and I had some heartbreaking losses at Olympic Games and some big tournaments in my career, and I know that those losses have usually made me stronger, in every aspect.

“I know that I will bounce back. I will try to keep going for Paris Olympic Games.”