Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic was dealt a double blow on Friday at the Tokyo Olympics as the World No. 1 and countrywoman Nina Stojanovic fell to the ROC’s Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina 7-6(4), 7-5 in the mixed doubles semi-finals.
Djokovic’s hopes for a historic Golden Grand Slam were ended by German Alexander Zverev in the singles earlier on Friday. Karatsev and Vesnina then compounded this defeat to reach the final as the unseeded pair won 71 per cent (35/49) of their first-service points to advance in one hour and 46 minutes.
Karatsev and Vesnina, who reached the championship match as a team at Roland Garros in June, have not dropped a set this week.
They will next face natives Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev in which was a great day for the ROC. The fourth seeds saved one match point at 10/11 in the Match Tie-break before defeating Australians Ashleigh Barty and John Peers 5-7, 6-4, 13-11.
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Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev rallied after losing the first as they fired 32 winners to advance to the gold medal match in one hour and 43 minutes. The ROC pair now hold a 3-0 record in Match Tie-breaks in Tokyo in their debut week as a team.
Djokovic – who was trying to match WTA legend Stefanie Graf’s achievement of four majors and one singles gold medal in 1988 – and Stojanovic will face Barty and Peers in the bronze medal match on Saturday.