- Novak Djokovic will have to shake off the disappointment of two losses Friday, and go for bronze
- Pablo Carreño Busta’s only career win against Djokovic came under dramatic circumstances at the US Open
- With Djokovic the favorite, we break down the matchup and look for value
Novak Djokovic has had his share of on-court disappointments in his career, although not many lately.
But on Friday in Tokyo, not only did his dreams of a Golden Slam disappear with the loss to Alexander Zverev, he also lost an opportunity to play for a gold medal in the mixed doubles.
Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreño Busta Odds Odds
| Novak Djokovic (SRB)||+5.5 (+120)||-650||O 19.5 (-115)|
| Pablo Carreño Busta (ESP)||-5.5 (-160)||+450||U 19.5 (-115)|
Odds as of July 30 at DraftKings
Djokovic Must Bounce Back from Heartbreak
Whenever there’s an upset in tennis – and Djokovic was heavily favoured against Alexander Zverev – there usually are contributions from both sides.
Djokovic rolled through the first set 6-1. And he was up a break in the second set. And then Zverev won eight straight games to completely turn the match around.
“I was leading a set then a break, and he managed to turn the match around. He served huge, was attacking, and I was not getting any free points on my first serves,” Djokovic said. “And I missed a lot of first serves from 3-2 in the second. To play someone of his quality, of his level, it’s just too tough to win a match.”
At the same time, Djokovic not only looked as though he hit the wall physically, he also looked affected emotionally as he watched the dream of doing something no other male player has done slip away.
The only player to achieve the Golden Slam was Steffi Graf, back in 1988.
For all of his credentials in the perennially-debated “Greatest of All Time” discussion, Djokovic will now be playing for his third bronze medal in four Olympics.
In 2008 in Beijing; he won. In London in 2012, he lost to Juan Martin del Potro and finished fourth.
In Rio in 2016, he lost early in the tournament – again to Del Potro.
For Carreño Busta, in the absence of Rafael Nadal, it’s an opportunity for Spain to salvage a tennis medal from the Tokyo Games.
Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreño Busta Match History
|2020||French Open (QF)||Outdoor clay||4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4||Djokovic|
|2020||US Open (R16)||Outdoor Hard||5-6 DEF||Carreño Busta|
|2019||Masters Cincinnati (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-4||Djokovic|
|2017||Monte Carlo (R16)||Outdoor clay||6-2, 4-6, 6-4||Djokovic|
|2014||Monte Carlo (R16)||Outdoor clay||6-0, 6-1||Djokovic|
Carreño Busta Bows to Underdog Khachanov
The 30-year-old Spaniard, like Djokovic, also was the favorite against No. 12 seed Karen Khachanov.
Notably, though, Khachanov had has success against Carreño Busta on hard courts in warm conditions.
On Friday, the Russian was impervious on serve. He hit 10 aces and lost just two points on his first serve – seven points on his serve in all, including two double faults.
Tennis – KHACHANOV Karen vs CARRENO BUSTA Pablo – Semifinal Results dominating performance from Silent K taking Busta Mova to move into gold medal🥇match, best I have ever seen him play on hardcourts this @Olympics 😎👊💪👍✅ 🇷🇺 @KYevgeni https://t.co/VcE47FSnWy
— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) July 30, 2021
Carreño Busta was just comprehensively beaten. And so, he has less to regret.
For him, unlike Djokovic, winning a bronze in Tokyo is a hugely positive outcome and he can come into it with a lot less baggage.
Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreño Busta Head-to-Head
|34 (May 22, 1987)||Age||30 (July 12, 1991)|
|Belgrade, Serbia||Birthplace||Gijon, Spain|
|85||Career ATP Singles Titles||6|
|No. 1 (July 4, 2011)||Career High Ranking||No. 10 (Sept. 11, 2017)|
|No. 1||Current Ranking||No. 11|
|$151,876,636||Career Prize Money||$11,810,701|
|37-4||2021 Won/Loss record||27-10|
|4-1||Career Head to Head||1-4|
Last Djokovic vs Carreño Busta Meeting was Dramatic
Djokovic has lost to Carreño Busta just once.
But it was under dramatic circumstances.
Djokovic looked headed for a title at last summer’s US Open. And then, after firing a ball in anger (something most players will do here and there), he inadvertently hit a line umpire. That’s a no-no. Despite lengthy discussions, he was defaulted.
Still, unless Djokovic shows up still licking his wounds from a tough day Friday, he has too much for the Spaniard on any court, under any circumstances.
And he’s too much of an experienced professional not to cast aside his tremendous disappointment. And no doubt he hasn’t forgotten the US Open, and will be determined the outcome will be different.
Because there remains much to play for; he may come out as a man on a mission.
Best Bet: Djokovic in two sets (-200)