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Alexander Zverev Dominates Karen Khachanov to Win 2021 Olympic Tennis Men's Final

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2021

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Germany's Alexander Zverev put together a dominant performance against the Russia Olympic Committee's Karen Khachanov to win the gold medal in men's singles tennis at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

Zverev, who's never won a Grand Slam tournament, capped the best run of his career with 16 winners and six aces as part of a straight-sets (6-3, 6-1) victory at Ariake Coliseum in Japan.

Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, who upset top-seeded Novak Djokovic in Saturday's bronze-medal match, joined Zverev and Khachanov on the men's singles podium.

Zverev won a vast majority of the critical points in Sunday's final to quickly eliminate any potential drama. He converted four of his eight break-point chances while successfully defending the only one generated by Khachanov. He also won 12 of the 14 points (86 percent) when he came to net.

"This is so much bigger than anything in the tennis world—in the sports world," Zverev told reporters.

Khachanov wasn't able to put any consistent pressure on the 24-year-old German, finishing the match with just four winners to go along with 11 unforced errors.

It's the long-awaited breakthrough moment for Zverev, who's been one of tennis' rising stars for the past handful of years. He'd struggled to win on the sport's biggest stages, however, which have been dominated by Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for well over a decade.

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Neither Nadal nor Federer were in the Olympic field, but Zverev was forced to stare down Djokovic, winner of the year's three Grand Slam tournaments contested so far, in the semifinals.

The gold medalist dropped the first set against the Serbian superstar but proceeded to produce the best four-set stretch of his career to pull off the upset against Djokovic and dispatch Khachanov to win the tournament.

Zverev becomes the first German player to win the men's singles title at the Olympics.

He'll look to carry that momentum into the season's final major, the U.S. Open, which kicks off Aug. 30.

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