Novak Djokovic has made headlines again as he lost his cool against Pablo Carreno Busta as they battled it out for the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
The world number 1 from Serbia missed the Golden Slam after losing to Alexander Zverev on Friday. However, it was when he returned to court on Saturday to win a second career bronze that he let his frustration run wild.
Djokovic let his emotions run wild early in the third set when he failed to break, hurling a racket into the empty stands and hitting another racket against the post.
Novak Djokovic lost his composure to Pablo Carreno Busta during their bronze medal match
The 34-year-old was back on the field less than 24 hours after his shocking defeat to Alexander Zverev, putting an end to his hopes of becoming the first man to win the Golden Slam of all four major titles and Olympics in the same year. gold in singles.
Djokovic’s dejection was evident in retrospect, especially when he lost his mixed doubles semi-final to Nina Stojanovic, and shaking himself up to finish on the podium proved to be beyond him.
He saved a match point in the second set to force a decider against Carreno Busta, but lost his cool early in the third when he failed to break. ) 6-3 defeat.
Djokovic let his emotions run wild early in the third set and threw a racket into the empty stands
This was the third time Djokovic played a bronze medal match at the Olympics. He defeated James Blake in Beijing in 2008, but lost to Juan Martin Del Potro in London.
He had made winning a medal for Serbia one of his main goals of the season, but his service, which had gone badly against Zverev, was again missing in the first set and Carreno Busta broke for 3-2, breaking all five breakpoints. that he encountered.
He held his own in the second set, his serve was much better, but Carreno Busta repelled everything Djokovic could throw at him and he came down from 1-4 in the tiebreak to force a match point at 5- 6.
Djokovic showed that his heart was still willing to save it and take the game to a decider, but things quickly took a downward turn.
He was also seen hitting another racket against the net post during the match
Remarkably, he did not receive a warning for his behavior on the track on Saturday
Carreno Busta was the opponent at the US Open last summer when Djokovic was given notice of default for hitting a linesman with a ball and when the Spaniard saved a break point in the opening game, his opponent suffered another worrying loss of control and threw his racket away. in the stands.
Remarkably, he received no warning and Carreno Busta was clearly shocked that Djokovic was not penalized when he angrily destroyed another racket after falling behind 3-0.
He tried to turn the game around, but Carreno Busta, who has played the best tennis of his career over the past year, made it through excellently to claim his first Olympic medal and eventually take his sixth match point.
The 30-year-old lay amid the Olympic rings at the back of the field celebrating as his opponent waited to congratulate him at the net.
After the game, Djokovic said: “I regret not winning a medal for my country. Opportunities were missed in both doubles and singles. I didn’t perform yesterday and today the level of tennis dropped, partly due to exhaustion, mentally and physically.
“But I don’t regret coming to the Olympics at all. Of course not. I believe there are no coincidences in life, everything happens for a reason, and I’ve had heartbreaking losses in the Olympics and some major tournaments in my career, and I know those losses have mostly made me stronger, in every aspect .
‘I know I will bounce back. I will try to advance for the Paris Olympics, I will fight for my country to win medals and I am sorry that I disappointed many sports fans in my country, but that is sport.
“I gave everything I had left in the tank, and it wasn’t that much. I felt it on the court. Hopefully the physical consequences won’t be a problem for me before the US Open. That’s something I’m not sure about at this point.
Djokovic admitted he missed a medal chance but said he didn’t regret it
About his loss of control, Djokovic said ‘it was an emotional outburst’
“But I don’t regret giving it my all, because when you play for your country, it’s necessary.”
About his loss of control, Djokovic said: “It was an emotional outburst and it happens. It’s busy on the field. In the heat of battle. It’s not the first time and probably not the last.
‘It’s not fun, of course, but I think it’s part of who I am. I don’t like doing these things. I’m sorry to send messages like this, but we’re all human and sometimes it’s hard to control your emotions.”
Djokovic has also withdrawn from his bronze medal match in mixed doubles, where he and Stojanovic should have faced Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and John Peers in a rare encounter between the world’s number one men and women.