Djokovic eyes elusive gold at Paris Olympics

Novak Djokovic is hopeful that the 2024 Games in Paris will be his most successful Olympics to date as he continues to chase the gold medal that has so far eluded him.

After an impressive straight-set victory over the Netherlands’ No. 39 Tallon Greekspur on Wednesday and reaching his 13th quarter-final in Dubai in the same number of matches, Djokovic spoke about his ambitions for next year’s Olympics.

“I hope I can do well at the Paris Olympics next year,” said Djokovic, whose best result at the Games came in 2008 when he won bronze in singles.

“At Roland Garros it will be played on clay, I am familiar with this field, so I hope that there will be my best Olympic result.”

Two of Djokovic’s 22 Grand Slam titles were won at Roland Garros in 2016 and 2021.

Compared to the first round in Dubai, Djokovic has shown a much more straight forward performance, extending his unbeaten streak to 14-0 this season and his overall winning streak to 19 matches with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Grikspur. one of the most progressive players on the tour in the last two months.

It was a clean play for Djokovic, who was only two points behind his first serve and scored 29 winners with just six unforced errors.

“I had a great evening today. I really had to work hard yesterday to get the win,” said five-time Dubai champion Djokovic, who overtook world No. 130 Thomas Machak with a third-set tiebreak win in the first set. round.

“I’m thinking straight from the blocks tonight, I’ve been sharp from the start.”

Djokovic broke down early in the match before the game was abandoned due to light rain. However, the short delay did not disturb the rhythm of the top seed as he confidently won the first set in 34 minutes.

The 35-year-old took a 3-0 lead in the second set but had to endure a marathon 16-minute game to make it 4-0.

Djokovic broke down on his first attempt to play the match, but he recovered immediately, improving to 2–0 head-to-head against Greekspur with an hour and 21 minute win.

– ‘Christmas presents’ –

Djokovic will next face off against Marseille weekend champion Hubert Gurkacz for a spot in the semi-finals.

Andrei Rublev thought he had run out of extra lives when he lost five match points in a row in a second set tiebreaker against Alejandro Davidovich Fokin.

But the Russian managed to bounce back 1-6 in a breakdance to force the decider and then squeeze past Davidovich Fokin 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) to keep his title. The title defense in Dubai is live.

It was the third time this season that Rublev saved match points en route to victory, having also done so against Holger Rune in the fourth round of the Australian Open and against Greekspur in Doha last week.

“Now I don’t even have any emotions, because in my head the match is already done,” Rublev said on Wednesday.

“When you get lucky three times, almost the last three tournaments – Australian Open, Doha and Dubai – three tournaments in a row, it’s like how many more Christmas gifts can I get there?”

Rublev, who is trying to become the first consecutive Dubai men’s champion since Roger Federer in 2014-15, will face the Dutchman Botitsch van de Zandschulp in the quarterfinals.

Third-placed Daniil Medvedev, the champion of Rotterdam and Doha in recent weeks, won his 11th consecutive victory, beating Alexander Bublik 6-4, 6-2.

“I think confidence is more important than fatigue because you don’t want to stop,” said Medvedev, who will face Borna Coric on Thursday in the round of 16.

World No. 67 Italian Lorenzo Sonego edged out No. 4 Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, his first top 10 win of the season and fifth career win.

He will then play Germany’s seventh seeded Alexander Zverev in the final eight stage.



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