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Zverev routs Khachanov to win Olympic gold

Published : Monday, 2 August, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 675

Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates winning the Tokyo 2020 Olympic men's singles tennis final match against Russia's Karen Khachanov at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. 	photo: AFP

Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates winning the Tokyo 2020 Olympic men's singles tennis final match against Russia's Karen Khachanov at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. photo: AFP

TOKYO, AUG 1: Alexander Zverev said that "nothing is bigger" than winning an Olympic gold medal after brushing aside Karen Khachanov to take the men's singles title in Tokyo on Sunday.
The fourth seed, who ended Novak Djokovic's Golden Grand Slam bid in the semi-finals, produced a dominant display to win 6-3, 6-1 after just 79 minutes at the Ariake Tennis Park.
"There is nothing better than this," said Zverev, who fell to the ground in celebration after clinching the win.
The world number five becomes only the second German to win an Olympic singles gold after Steffi Graf in 1988, while Boris Becker and Michael Stich took the men's doubles crown four years later.
Zverev is still waiting for a maiden Grand Slam title after several near misses, including when he blew a two-set lead to lose to Dominic Thiem in last year's US Open final.
"To be honest, I don't want to talk about the next Grand Slam right now," he said when asked if his Olympic success could help him go one better at Flushing Meadows next month.
"I just won the Olympic Games and I think there's nothing bigger than winning the Olympic Games."
The 24-year-old said this victory trumps his 2018 ATP Finals triumph and his four Masters titles.
"I can't compare it because this is so much bigger than anything else in sports, especially in tennis," Zverev added.
"Yes, I've won the World Tour Finals, but I think, to be honest, a gold medal at the Olympics, for me, the value is incredible because you're not only playing for yourself, you're playing for your whole country."
Khachanov had continued his return to form in Tokyo from recent weeks after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals, but this match proved a step too far.
"He played I think an outstanding match. He was just better today, all credit to him," said the silver medallist.
A small crowd of locals gathered to protest against the staging of the Tokyo Olympics outside the venue at the start of the match, after a surge of Covid-19 cases in Japan.
"We all heard it, it was quite loud," said Zverev. "I think the whole world will be quite happy that this event (Olympics) is going on.
"I think sports, in the time we're living in right now, is not only nice to have, but it's necessary."     -AFP





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