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Olympic Men's Tennis 2021: Saturday Round of 64 Results, Scores and Reaction

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 25, 2021

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic's straight-set victory over Hugo Dellien highlighted the first round of men's singles tennis action at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Day 1 featured 16 matches. Other notable winners included World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, who earned a second-set tiebreaker victory en route to defeating Alexander Bublik. 

Elsewhere, Sumit Nagal made history as the first Indian man to win an Olympics men's singles match in 25 years, while Marin Cilic won a three-set thriller over Joao Menezes after finally pulling through following his 11th match point.

Here's a look at the day's round of 64 results alongside closer looks at all four of those performances.

   

Round of 64 Results

Daniil Medvedev (Russian Olympic Committee) def. Alexander Bublik (Kazakhstan): 6-4, 7-6 (8)

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Novak Djokovic (Serbia) def. Hugo Dellien (Bolivia): 6-2, 6-2

Lorenzo Sonego (Italy) def. Taro Daniel (Japan):  4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3)

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (Spain) def. Pedro Sousa (Portugal): 6-3, 6-0

Aslan Karatsev (Russian Olympic Committee) def. Tommy Paul (United States): 6-3, 6-2

Pablo Carreno Busta (Spain) def. Tennys Sandgren (United States): 7-5, 6-2

Fabio Fognini (Italy) def. Yuichi Sugita (Japan): 6-4, 6-3

Marin Cilic (Croatia) def. Joao Menezes (Brazil): 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (7)

Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) def. Roberto Carballes Baena (Spain): 6-3, 6-2

Ugo Humbert (France) def. Pablo Andujar (Spain): 7-6 (3), 6-1

Jan-Lennard Struff (Germany) def. Thiago Montero (Brazil): 6-3, 6-4

Miomir Kecmanovic (Serbia) def. Kamil Majchrzak (Poland): 6-4, 6-2

Jeremy Chardy (France) def. Tomas Barrios (Chile): 6-1, 7-6 (4)

Egor Gerasimov (Belarus) def. Gilles Simon (France): 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

John Millman (Australia) def. Lorenzo Musetti (Italy): 6-3, 6-4

Sumit Nagal (India) def. Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan): 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4

All tennis results can be found on the Olympics website.

  

Highlights

Djokovic didn't have much trouble in his first-round match en route to the 6-2, 6-2 win over Dellien, who relished the moment against the 20-time major winner and potential Golden Slam victor:

José Morgado @josemorgado

Dellien asks for Djokovic's shirt. <br><br>"I will remember this moment forever". <a href="https://t.co/O8MLF7ghso">pic.twitter.com/O8MLF7ghso</a>

Djokovic needed just one hour and one minute to advance to the Round of 32, where he will face Jan-Lennard Struff.

The Serbian is aiming to become just the second person in tennis history to win all four Grand Slam events plus an Olympic gold medal in the same year. Steffi Graf accomplished the feat in 1988.

Medvedev worked much harder for his Round 1 victory, needing a second-set tiebreaker to earn the straight-set win. But he'll be moving on after the 6-4, 7-6 (8) victory over Alexander Bublik.

This was not an easy win, as Jose Morgado of the Diario Record noted:

José Morgado @josemorgado

Daniil Medvedev survives a very tough opener against Alexander Bublik, 6-4, 7-6(8), to reach the 2nd round in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a>.

Medvedev won the first set 6-4, winning a break point in the first game and cruising from there. Bublik fired back in the second set, winning an early break point and taking a 3-0 game edge.

Undeterred, Medvedev fought back and eventually forced a tiebreaker after his ace tied the second set at six games apiece. The tiebreaker was a seesaw affair, which the Russian won 10-8.

Medvedev now faces Sumit Nagal, who made some history on Saturday.

It had been 25 years since an Indian man won an Olympics men's singles match at the Olympics, but that cold spell has been broken after Nagal's three-set win over Denis Istomin:

US Open Tennis @usopen

Making <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympics</a> history 👏<a href="https://twitter.com/nagalsumit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nagalsumit</a> defeats Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 to become the first Indian man to win an Olympic singles match since Leander Paes at Atlanta 1996<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/G5SQxwgG89">pic.twitter.com/G5SQxwgG89</a>

Nagal won the first set 6-4 and served for the match up 5-4 in the second set, but a pair of double faults led to Istomin winning the break. Istomin ended up forcing a tiebreaker, which he won 8-6.

Nagal dug deep late in the third set, though. Istomin had triple game point serving with the score tied at four, but Nagal earned five straight points for the huge break. He then won four of five points in the final game for the win.

The last Indian man to win was Leander Paes, who engineered a phenomenal run into the semifinals as a wild card at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He lost to eventual gold medalist Andre Agassi in the semifinals but defeated Fernando Meligeni in the bronze-medal match.

Paes and Nagal are the only two Indian men to reach the second round of the Olympic men's singles tournament.

Team India @WeAreTeamIndia

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamIndia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamIndia</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tennis</a> <br>Men's Singles First Round Results<a href="https://twitter.com/nagalsumit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nagalsumit</a> overcomes a rollercoaster encounter against Istomin. Becomes only 2nd Indian to reach the second Round at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympics</a> What a debut performance! Medvedev up next! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EkIndiaTeamIndia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EkIndiaTeamIndia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cheer4India?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cheer4India</a> <a href="https://t.co/L7LTzuNTqD">pic.twitter.com/L7LTzuNTqD</a>

The match of the day occurred between Cilic and Menezes.

Cilic appeared as if he would cruise into the second round after he found himself up 5-0 in the third set. A win appeared to be even more of a formality when Menezes fell behind 40-0 while serving.

However, Menezes somehow survived five match points to stay alive and win the game. He proceeded to win six straight games, taking a 6-5 lead to earn an opportunity to serve for the match.

He earned his own match point up 40-30, but Cilic bounced back with three straight points to earn the tiebreaker.

Once there, Cilic earned the 9-7 win, getting the victory on his 11th match point. 

ITF @ITFTennis

🇭🇷 <a href="https://twitter.com/cilic_marin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cilic_marin</a> comes out on 🔝<br><br>On his 11th match point, the world No. 36 defeats Menezes 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(7) in the opening round <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tennis</a> <a href="https://t.co/wQikukO9Wl">pic.twitter.com/wQikukO9Wl</a>

He'll take on Pablo Carreno Busta in Round 2.

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