Tokyo Olympics 2021: Finals: Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov
World number 5 Alexander Zverev locks horns against the 25th ranked Karen Khachanov in the singles finals at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
The old guard of tennis has been replaced by an exciting Next-Gen clash now. Zverev (24) and Khachanov (25) have turned the tables in the big event.
Men’s Singles Finals - Gold Medal Match
Date: 1st August 2021
Time: 5:00 PM (Japan Standard Time)
Venue: Centre Court, Ariake Tennis Park
Did you know?
This is the first time since 2008 there is no member of the Big 4 (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray) playing the singles finals at the Olympics.
Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov: Olympics Finals
Zverev and Khachanov are locked 2-2 in the head-to-head record. The Russian leads 1-0 in their outdoor hard court clashes against Sascha. He beat the German in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in August 2019.
- Zverev is the first German male player since Tommy Haas (2000 - Sydney) to reach the singles finals of the Olympics.
- Khachanov is bidding to win the gold medal in his debut at the Olympics.
- Sascha Zverev has committed only 3 double faults in 5 matches at Tokyo.
- Both Khachanov and Zverev are right-handers with two-handed backhands.
- Zverev and Khachanov are equally tall (6’6” each) and also turned pro in the same year in 2013.
- Alexander Zverev has dropped just 1 set in the tournament when compared to Karen Khachanov’s 3.
- Zverev is aiming to become the first German gold medalist in the Olympics since the legendary Steffi Graf in 1988 (Seoul).
How did Zverev and Khachanov reach the finals at the Tokyo Olympics?
Despite trailing 6-1, 3-2 against the World number 1 Djokovic, Alexander Zverev took 5 games in a row to grab the second set 6-3. The German served a breadstick to Novak in the decider clinching it 6-1. It was a strong comeback by Sascha as he won 10 out of the last 11 games against the Serbian.
Overall, the Next-Gen star fired 7 aces, landed 95% of his second serves in and also pounded 30 winners. Importantly, it was his first win against Djokovic after suffering 4 losses in a row.
"You are not only playing for yourself, you are playing for the whole country, for the people here, for everybody watching and supporting you, it is an amazing feeling, knowing that you are going to bring the medal back to your house, back home to Germany,” said Zverev jubilant after winning in 3 sets against Novak Djokovic.
On the other hand, Karen Khachanov outplayed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3 in the semis. The Russian smashed 10 aces, took 11 out of 12 points at the net, and won 92.85% of his first-serve points.
Karen Khachanov will be fresher as he played only for 79 minutes against Busta in the semis. In contrast, Zverev pulled off a tough 3-set victory in 2 hours 3 minutes against Djokovic.
Alexander Zverev will be pumped up to get gold for Germany at the Tokyo Olympics after ousting Novak Djokovic. However, the German cannot be complacent as he has lost his last 2 matches against Khachanov in straight sets each.
The Russian possesses a Thor-like forehand and can overpower Zverev with his accuracy and relentless hitting. The German has improved his second serve significantly.
The 24-year-old can also make tremendous comebacks from precarious situations. Having played several big finals in his career, Alexander Zverev has a slight edge. Expect some intense rallies and jaw-dropping tiebreakers to decide the winner.