Djokovic sets up Nishikori blockbuster in Tokyo
The world No 1 will take on Japan’s big hope in the quarter-finals of the Olympics
World No 1 Novak Djokovic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori will meet in a blockbuster quarter-final at the Tokyo Olympics after both men came through their third-round encounters in straight sets on Wednesday.
Top seed Djokovic, chasing his first Olympic gold medal, beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-3, 6-1 to reach the last eight while Nishikori saw off Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-6, 6-0.
Djokovic leads head to head 16-2
Djokovic and Nishikori have played 18 times, with the Serb leading 16-2, Nishikori’s biggest win coming in the semi-finals of the US Open in 2014.
With the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon already in the bag, Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite for the title in Tokyo, a gold medal the only thing missing from his resume.
The Serb saved a couple of break points early on against the talented Davidovich Fokina but otherwise, he was untouchable, making light of the hot conditions as he marched into the last eight in style.
Should he win the title, Djokovic will need just the US Open for the “Golden Slam” of all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold, but Nishikori may just give him a run for his money.
The Japanese, in his home Games, hard to work harder for his place in the quarter-finals, though. Ivashka served for the first set twice, and had two set points, but Nishikori held firm, taking the tiebreak 9-7 and then pulling away in the second set, putting himself one win away from a shot at another Olympic medal, having won the bronze in Rio in 2016.