Zverev joins Graf, Becker, Stich as Olympic gold medalists in tennis from Germany
A day after dominating world No 1 Djokovic, Zverev was equally dominant in beating Khachanov to win the gold medal in Tokyo
OLYMPIC GAMES – MEN’S SINGLES GOLD MEDAL MATCH
ALEXANDER ZVEREV (4) DEF. KAREN KHACHANOV (12) : 6-3, 6-1
- The main information: Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Karen Khachanov, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, 6-3, 6-1 to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
- You will also learn: Zverev is the first German male player to win the singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. His compatriot Steffi Graf had won the women’s singles gold at the 1988 Games whereas Boris Becker/ Michael Stich had won the men’s doubles gold at the 1992 Games.
- Why you should read this article: This is Zverev’s biggest career title. The German had won the ATP World Tour Finals in 2018 and is in search of his first Grand Slam singles title.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev is the new Olympic gold meal champion as the world No 5 put on a powerful display to defeat Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 20 minutes at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
A day after defeating world No 1 Novak Djokovic in an equally one-sided affair, Zverev was at his dominant best, blasting six aces and winning 84 percent of his first-serve points, as well hitting 21 winners to get past Khachanov, who was playing in his biggest career final.
Zverev’s win against Djokovic helped Graf
Zverev’s win is the first men’s singles gold medal in tennis for a German male player at the Olympics. Zverev’s countrywoman Steffi Graf won the women’s singles gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, whereas Boris Becker and Michael Stich combined to win the men’s doubles gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
In fact, Zverev’s win over Djokovic in the semi-finals ensured that Graf remains the only player in tennis history to win the Golden Slam until the 2024 at the least.
Will the Olympic gold push Zverev towards Grand Slam glory?
Currently No 5 in the world, Zverev has been as high as No 3 in the rankings. The German is still in search of his first Grand Slam singles title. He finished runner-up at the US Open last year, losing in five close sets to good friend Dominic Thiem. He has also been to the semi-finals at the majors on two other occasions – the Australian Open in 2020, and the French Open in 2021.
With several doubts on the form and fitness of the Big 3 – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer – and defending champion Dominic Thiem heading into the American summer it remains to be seen if Zverev’s gold medal triumph will propel him to Grand Slam glory in the coming months.
The US Open kicks off in New York City on August 30, 2021.