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Olympic Men's Tennis 2021: Novak Djokovic Cruises into Semifinals; Full Results

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2021

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The semifinals are officially set for the men's singles tennis tournament at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and No. 1 overall seed Novak Djokovic will headline the final four.

The tournament favorite rolled his way into the semis with a straight-set victory over Kei Nishikori on Thursday, while No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta and No. 12 Karen Khachanov also punched their tickets to the penultimate round.

Here is a full rundown of Thursday's men's singles scores, along with further analysis regarding how the action played out in Tokyo.

Men's Singles Quarterfinals Results

(1) Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. Kei Nishikori (JPN); 6-2, 6-0

(4) Alexander Zverev (GER) def. Jeremy Chardy (FRA); 6-4, 6-1

(12) Karen Khachanov (ROC) def. (14) Ugo Humbert (FRA); 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3

(6) Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) def. (2) Daniil Medvedev (ROC); 6-2, 7-6(5)

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Men's Singles Quarterfinals Recap

Djokovic took another big step toward his goal of winning the Golden Slam on Thursday by crushing Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0 in straight sets.

Nishikori was a great story, as the unseeded veteran made it all the way to the quarterfinals on his home court, but like so many others in the sport, he wasn't equipped to deal with one of the all-time greats.

NBC Olympics tweeted a video of Djoker's winning moment:

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

GETS IT DONE 💪<a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a> advances to the semifinals after winning in straight sets. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/TvgpzRcka2">pic.twitter.com/TvgpzRcka2</a>

While Olympic gold has eluded Djokovic thus far, ITF noted the Serbian star made Olympic history Thursday with his third career Olympic singles semifinal berth:

ITF @ITFTennis

The first player - male or female - to reach three <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympics</a> singles semi-finals 🇷🇸<a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a> races past Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-0 and will get a third shot at making the gold medal match after Beijing 2008 and London 2012<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>

Djokovic has only Olympic bronze to his credit, but he is a massive favorite to win gold this time around, and such a win would put him a U.S. Open title away from winning every Grand Slam and an Olympic gold in the same year.

While Djokovic is the clear favorite to go the distance in Tokyo, he won't necessarily have the easiest road to the final, as fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany is next up in the semifinals.

Zverev had little issue taking care of unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in straight sets, giving him the most dominant performance of the day aside from Djoker.

While the 24-year-old has reached finals before, including the 2020 U.S. Open, he has yet to score a career-defining win.

Beating Djokovic in the Olympic semis would be that win, although he has an uphill climb given his 2-6 career record against Nole, including five losses in a row.

In perhaps the most compelling quarterfinal on the men's side, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain upset No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of the Russian Olympic Committee in straight sets to reach the semis.

Carreno Busta, who played some of his best tennis in the victory, was pumped to guarantee himself a medal opportunity:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

V A M O S 🇪🇸<a href="https://twitter.com/pablocarreno91?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@pablocarreno91</a> takes out #2 seed Medvedev 6-2 7-6 to set up an Olympic semi-final with Khachanov! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/1U7EiIeudt">pic.twitter.com/1U7EiIeudt</a>

Medvedev struggled in the heat during his previous match against Italy's Fabio Fognini. The quarterfinal match started later, but Medvedev was still unable to find his rhythm.

After cruising to a 6-2 win in the first set, Carreno Busta won a tiebreak in the second to secure his place in the semis and potentially put himself in position to become the first Spanish man to win an Olympic medal in singles competition since Rafael Nadal won gold in 2008.

Carreno Busta may now be favored to reach the final, but in order to do so, he will have to go through another Russian player in 12th-seeded Karen Khachanov.

Khachanov's Cinderella run continued Thursday in a three-set marathon win over No. 14 Ugo Humbert of France.

While Khachanov needed over two-and-a-half hours to get past Humbert, he enters the semifinals with a ton of momentum on his side.

With Medvedev and Andrey Rublev both out, ROC's medal hopes in men's singles rest on Khachanov's shoulders, and he is one win away from clinching a medal.

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