Novak Djokovic's 'terrible' admission after shock Olympics loss

Novak Djokovic, pictured here after losing to Alexander Zverev at the Olympics.
Novak Djokovic was visibly upset after losing to Alexander Zverev at the Olympics. Image: Getty

Novak Djokovic has spoken of his devastation after seeing his bid for Olympic gold crushed by Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic had been hoping to become the first male player in tennis history to complete the 'Golden Slam' by winning all four majors and Olympic singles gold in the same year.

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He came into the Olympics having already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year to complete three-fifths of the rare achievement.

However it all came crashing down on Friday night as Zverev shocked the World No.1 with an extraordinary comeback victory.

The German fought back from a set and a break down to pull off a staggering 1-6 6-3 6-1 win to set up a gold medal showdown with Russian Karen Khachanov.

Zverev is the first German man to make an Olympic final since Tommy Haas won silver at the Sydney Games in 2000.

He also managed to ensure compatriot Steffi Graf remains the only player ever to achieve the 'Golden Slam', which she did in 1988.

Victory in Tokyo would have secured the 34-year-old Djokovic the only major honour still missing from his collection - an Olympic gold.

Novak Djokovic, pictured here congratulating Alexander Zverev after their semi-final clash at the Olympics.
Novak Djokovic congratulates Alexander Zverev after their semi-final clash at the Olympics. (Photo by Igor Kralj/PIXSELL/MB Media/Getty Images)

But the 2008 Beijing Games bronze medallist lost that chance after Zverev secured the win with a crushing backhand down the line winner.

A later defeat for Djokovic in the mixed doubles semi-final with partner Nina Stojanovic rubbed salt into the wounds, as the Serbian pair fell 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev of the Russian Olympic Committee.

"Tough day man, really tough day," a visibly upset Djokovic told reporters.

"I feel so terrible right now. Can't be positive right now."

Novak Djokovic plays for bronze in singles and mixed doubles

Djokovic could still go home with two bronze medals on Saturday.

The Serbian will play Pablo Carreno Busta in the men's singles before teaming up again with Stojanovic against Australian pair Ash Barty and John Peers in the mixed doubles.

In Friday's semi-final, an emotional Zverev embraced his opponent at the net, telling Djokovic: "I'm sorry".

"I told him that he's the greatest of all time," the 24-year-old explained later.

"But in these kind of moments, we're very close and we're good with each other, so of course, I'm happy that I won but at the end of the day I also know how he feels."

Earlier on Friday, Khachanov outgunned Spaniard Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3, capping a memorable summer for the 25-year-old who made the Wimbledon quarter-finals this month.

"I play tennis for those moments, I practise for these kind of matches and when you get there, when it's paying off, it's just a pure pleasure to be here...," the 25th-ranked Khachanov said.

"(They are) the kind of memories that will stay forever."

with AAP

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