The last 24 hours of Novak Djokovic they have been to forget. The Serbian is currently in a position simply unimaginable a day ago, when he led by a set and a break against Alexander Zverev in the semifinal match of the Tokyo Olympics 2021. From there, a whirlwind of emotions, of physical exhaustion, heartbreaking defeats and an end that few imagined before the start of these Games: Novak leaves Tokyo without a single medal.
His penultimate train left this morning after losing an agonizing match for bronze to Pablo Carreño. Two hours and 47 minutes of suffering that, after saving a match point in the second set and several more at the end of the third, served to certify another painful defeat. After the game, the confirmation that Nole’s body had said enough: the Serbian left the match for the bronze in the mixed doubles. In Press conference and thanks to the work of Sasa Ozmo, Nole left a few words that explain the reason for this decision.
“I got off the mixed doubles due to injury, and not just one. I hope this does not prevent me from being well for the Us Open. This is the third time that I have lost in a semi-final, and for my expectations, having ‘only’ one medal … I want to apologize to all the Serbian fans that I have disappointed. I know that many expected a medal from me, as did I myself. I am also very sorry for Nina (Stojanovic, her partner in mixed doubles), but my body has abandoned me, I have played under medication, in pain and enormous exhaustion“.
They are strong statements as well as revealing. Novak’s physical and mental pain, after a season in which he has barely had a break, has reached a limit that causes many to ask the following question:it was really worth it go to Tokyo after the mental wear and tear of the Wimbledon title? Djokovic’s response is also clairvoyant and makes clear his predisposition to compete for his country.
“I do not regret at all coming to play the Olympic Games. I firmly believe that there are no coincidences in life, that everything happens for a reason. I’ve already had some devastating losses at the Olympics and other big tournaments, and I know that normally those defeats have made me stronger. I know that I will return, I will try to continue and reach the Olympic Games in Paris in order to win a medal for my country. I have given everything, this is sport: I have given everything that was left in me, which was not too much. “
“Touch turn page”
Finally, the Serbian reflected on his motivation in order to play this tournament and how he is moments after a very tough defeat. The next challenge ahead is the Us Open, and Nole wants to reach the New York appointment 100%, although that goal seems certainly complicated today.
“I do regret not having been able to win a medal for my country, neither in the individual nor in the mixed. I simply did not do my job, neither yesterday nor today. My tennis level dropped, also because I was physically exhausted and mentally. I hope these physical consequences do not create any problem for me in the face of the Us Open. It is something I am not sure of today, but I do not regret anything, you must give everything for your country. My heart is where it should be because I know I did my best: I love playing for my country, this time I was not successful, now it’s time to turn the page. “