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Novak Djokovic Falls in Bronze Medal Match as He Looks to One More Shot at the Podium in Tokyo

·2 min read
Novak Djokovic Falls in Bronze Medal Match as He Looks to One More Shot at the Podium in Tokyo

Novak Djokovic has another loss and only one more shot at a medal after falling to Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta in men's singles on Saturday at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

One day after Djokovic's quest for the Golden Slam came to an end, he lost in his bronze medal match.

Over a roughly three-hour contest, the top-seeded, top-ranked men's player in the world sought to catch up to sixth-seeded Carreno Busta, ranked No. 11.

Carreno Busta, 30, won the first set 6-4 and nearly won the second before Djokovic, who is competing for Serbia, clawed back a win during the tie-breaker.

But Carreno Busta's stronger showing in the third set, winning 6-3 even as Djokovic rallied near the end, clinched his podium spot.

After Carreno Busta won, he collapsed to the ground and seemed overcome.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

RELATED: Novak Djokovic Won't Get Golden Slam as Alexander Zverev Beats Him to Make Olympic Gold Medal Match

Pablo Carreno Busta
Pablo Carreno Busta

Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Djokovic has spoken bluntly about his Olympic struggles at the end of this week and grew angrier and angrier as he sought to overtake Carreno Busta in the final set.

At one point he threw his racket into the empty stands; later, he shouted in frustration and then banged yet another racket against the poles of the net.

Already a tennis legend with 20 Grand Slams, the 34-year-old Djokovic had been seeking to win the Golden Slam — winning all four Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic gold medal in the same year. Steffi Graf did it in 1988. No man has.

He is also competing in mixed doubles at the Tokyo Games, over the objections of his Serbian teammates given the strain of simultaneous matches.

"I feel terrible right now in every sense but tomorrow hopefully fresh start I can recover and at least win one medal for my country," Djokovic said on Friday after his loss to Germany's Alexander Zverev, a friend who comforted him after.

It was Djokovic's first defeat in two-and-a-half-months, according to the Associated Press.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

"I told him that he's the greatest of all time," Zverev later told reporters. "I know that he was chasing history."

Djokovic has one more shot at a medal when he competes later Saturday in the bronze medal match in mixed doubles alongside Nina Stojanovic. They will face Australia's Ash Barty — the world's No. 1 women's player, who had her own surprising loss in Tokyo — and John Peers.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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