Alexander Zverev earned Germany’s first tennis gold at the Olympics since Steffi Graf in 1992 with his 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Karen Khachanov on Sunday in the Tokyo final.
The German of Russian heritage defeated Russia’s own fourth-best in 81 minutes at the Ariake Colosseum with six aces and four breaks of serve; he fired 22 winners to just seven for Khachanov.
The ATP No. 5 followed up his knockout of top seed Novak Djokovic here in the semi-finals, a defeat which appears to have plunged the formerly formidable Serb – three titles from three Grand Slams this season – into a crisis of confidence.
So deflated was a medal-less Djokovic after his three-set collapse against Zverev on Friday that he avoided playing the mixed doubles consolation match with disappointed partner Nina Stojanovic.
Zverev followed up on compatriot Angelique Kerber’s silver from Rio 2016; he is the fist German man to win any medal in Olympic tennis.
This is so much bigger than anything else in sports, especially in tennis – this is an incredible feeling me for me right now,” Zverev said.
“There is nothing better than this. You are not only playing for yourself, you are playing for your country, and the Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world.
“The feeling I have now, and will have, nothing will be better.”
Khachanov admitted he was outclassed on the day.
“He played from the beginning to the end an unbelievable match,” the No. 25 Russian said.
“I also played an outstanding match from my point of view, but he was just better today – all credit to him.
“For me, the Olympics stands alongside as the Grand Slams, that’s why I trained for this as soon as Wimbledon was over.
“I was dreaming of gold, but I’ll give it a try at the next Olympics.”
Main photo:- Sascha Zverev wins Olympic Gold for Germany © ITF.com