Alexander Zverev became the first German man to win an Olympic singles gold medal on Sunday, August 1, with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Zverev’s win improves upon compatriot Tommy Haas’s 2000 Sydney Games effort when he won the men’s singles silver, and it matches Steffi Graf’s 1988 success in the women’s singles. Boris Becker and Michael Stich won the men’s doubles gold in 1992.
The world No. 5, who upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a stunning comeback on Friday, put on a near flawless performance against big-hitting Khachanov who had no answers for the German’s serve and laser-like returns.
Zverev broke the 25-year-old’s serve twice to take the first set, before steam-rolling through the second, winning five games in a row.
Khachanov managed just one game in the final set before the German secured the victory in one hour and 19 minutes.
The win is among the biggest for Zverev, who came close to his first Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open before losing to Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the final.
Czech women win doubles gold
In the women’s doubles final, the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova beat Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 7-5 6-1 to clinch their country’s first Olympic gold in the sport.
The victory for the top-seeded Czech team and three-time Grand Slam champions put an end to Bencic’s dream of making it a Swiss double golden success, after she triumphed in the women’s singles final a day earlier over Krejcikova and Siniakova’s compatriot Marketa Vondrousova.
But it helps continue a dream summer for Krejcikova, who took home both the women’s singles and doubles trophies at this year’s French Open. She and Siniakova also won the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon.
Krejcikova thanked previous Czech medalists, which include 2016 women’s bronze winner Petra Kvitova, for inspiring the pair.
“It’s very special…We just need to thank them because without them, we wouldn’t have the motivation or inspiration, it’s really big,” Krejcikova said.
“We are really happy and just really grateful that we can be here.”
“We appreciate that we have been doing such a great job during these 10 days, and now we have this beautiful gold medal, it’s pretty much a dream come true.”
Brazilians Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani won the bronze on Saturday, claiming their country’s first tennis medal with a win over Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina of the ROC. – Rappler.com