Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Zverev routs Khachanov to win tennis gold

Filed on August 1, 2021
Germany's Alexander Zverev returns a shot to Russia's Karen Khachanov during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic men's singles tennis final. — AFP

Zverev becomes only the second German to win an Olympic singles gold after Steffi Graf in 1988

World number five Alexander Zverev won the biggest title of his career when he crushed Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-1 on Sunday to win the men’s singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 24-year-old, who has yet to win a Grand Slam title, was in stunning form as he demolished Khachanov in 79 minutes to become the first German man to win a singles Olympic gold.

Zverev was flawless throughout and grabbed an early break to cruise to a 3-1 lead in the first set.

There were no signs of any nerves as he broke Khachanov again and bagged the set when his opponent sent an easy volley wide on the German’s second set point.

Not even the loud protests of a handful of anti-Olympic demonstrators, booming into Centre Court through a bull horn, could distract Zverev as he broke the hapless Russian again in the second game of the second set.

Long criticised for his perceived mental weakness in big matches, including losing to Dominic Thiem in last year’s U.S. Open final when he surrendered a two-set lead, Zverev proved the doubters wrong this time.

He remained in complete control, thundering backhand winners past his opponent who could only look on as he settled for silver.

Zverev became only the second German to win Olympic singles gold, matching Steffi Graff’s achievement at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Germany also won Olympic gold in the doubles with Boris Becker and Michael Stich at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

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