By Rozanna Latiff and Karolos Grohmann
TOKYO (Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic left the Tokyo Olympics this Saturday without winning a medal for the third consecutive edition, leaving mixed doubles due to a shoulder injury after losing the bronze in singles against the Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta.
Carreño Busta won 6-4, 6-7 (6-8) and 6-3 against a listless Djokovic, a day after the Serb crashed into the semi-finals and saw his dream of completing a historic “Golden Slam” come to an end.
The world number one arrived in Tokyo with the goal of becoming the first man to win all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal in the same year, after winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Djokovic’s withdrawal from playing with partner Nina Stojanovic resulted in an automatic bronze for Australian duo Ash Barty and John Peers, the country’s first tennis medal since 2004.
“I regret not having won a medal for my country and missed opportunities in mixed doubles and singles, and yes, I just didn’t give it yesterday and today,” Djokovic told reporters. “My tennis level also dropped due to exhaustion, mental and physical.”
Saturday’s loss to Carreño Busta is the Serb’s second in the dispute for third place in singles. He won bronze in Beijing 2008 before losing to Argentine Juan Martín Del Potro in London four years later. Del Potro beat Serbia again in the first round of the Rio 2016 Games.
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