Djokovic came hunting for a Golden Slam but it's Zverev who now looks to join golden company

Novak Djokovic arrived for his third Olympic semifinal riding a 22-match win streak. He had defeated his opponent, Alexander Zverev, twice this year on hard courts already.

The world No. 1 bolted out to a 6-1 lead, converting both of his break point chances and winning 56 percent of return points.

The match took an unexpected turn after the players changed ends with Djokovic set to serve at 6-1, 3-2. The Serbian was broken, but who knew what was to come from Zverev.

The German closed out the second set full of confidence, and grabbed his first lead of the match when he fended off four break points to hold for 2-0 at the start of his decider with the 2008 bronze medalist.

Djokovic’s Golden Slam bid all but slipped away when he fell behind a double break in dropping eight successive games. The 34-year-old finally stopped the bleeding when he held for 1-4.

Zverev reached the finish line after two hours and three minutes of play, closing out a remarkable 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory. If this isn’t the upset of the 2021 season so far, it’s certainly on the podium.

Djokovic will now contest the bronze medal match for the third time in four Olympic Games. Nole’s day isn’t over, as he still has hope for gold, for the time being. He’ll return for his mixed doubles semifinal with Nina Stojanovic later Friday.

As for Zverev, standing between him and a gold medal is Karen Khachanov. Zverev won their first two clashes, before the Russian hit back to take the next two. The winner will join Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray as active Olympic men's singles champs.