Saturday, July 31, 2021

Djokovic, Rybakina lose bronze-medal matches

Novak Djokovic came to the Tokyo Olympics hoping to continue his bid
for a Golden Slam but left empty-handed. 2017 photo by Paul Bauman
   The Olympics didn't work out so well for Novak Djokovic.
   The top-ranked Djokovic, who came to Tokyo hoping to continue his bid for a Golden Slam, lost his cool and the bronze-medal match to Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 today.
   Djokovic abused his racket several times, throwing it five rows of seats into the stands at one stage, in the brutal heat and humidity, The Associated Press reported. Citing a left-shoulder injury, he withdrew from the bronze medal match in mixed doubles with Nina Stojanovic.
   Djokovic still can earn the first men's calendar-year Grand Slam since 1969 (Rod Laver) by winning the U.S. Open, Aug. 30-Sept. 12 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   In the women's bronze-medal match, No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina beat No. 15 seed Elena Rybakina, a Moscow native who represents Kazakhstan, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to win Ukraine's first Olympic tennis medal.
   Svitolina, a semifinalist in the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, trailed 1-4 in the third set. Rybakina is seeded second in next week's Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State University.
   No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland won the gold medal in women's singles, defeating unseeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Bencic trailed by an early service break in the deciding set. 
   WTA Tour — The homecourt advantage did not help Kristie Ahn, Carol Zhao or Katie Volynets. All lost their first-round qualifying matches in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State University.
   Han Na-Lae, a 29-year-old left-hander from South Korea, beat the second-seeded Ahn, a 29-year-old graduate of nearby Stanford, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0. Ahn reached the 2019 quarterfinals as a qualifier. The tournament was canceled last year because of the pandemic.
   No. 6 seed Lesley Pattinama-Kerkhove of the Netherlands dominated Zhao (Stanford, 2014-16) of Canada 6-2, 6-2.
   And Emina Bektas of Indianapolis defeated Katie Volynets, 19, of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
   Here are the singles qualifying and main draws and Sunday's schedule.

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