Tokyo 2020. Alexander Zverev captures Olympic Gold

Tokyo 2020 Summer Games stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Alexander Zverev’s Gold Medal victory over Karen Khachanov. In Japan, the live narration includes two voices: Japanese announcer DJ Ketchup and English announcer Andy Taylor. Together, they cover the presentation on Center Court, while additional Japanese and English speaking announcers cover Courts 1 and 2 at Ariake Tennis Park.

Announcer Andy Taylor. Tokyo 2020. Gold Medal. Alexander Zverev defeats Karen Khachanov. Match Recap

Alexander Zverev. Germany’s first Olympic Gold Medalist in Men’s Singles.

With his victory over Jeremy Chardy in the Quarterfinals, Alexander Zverev became the first German man to reach the Olympic Medal Rounds since Tommy Haas captured Silver in Sydney (2000).

In the Semifinals, Sascha stunned everyone – including himself. Down a set and a break to World #1 Novak Djokovic, he implausibly flipped the match – allowing Djokovic only a single service hold in the final 11 games. Extraordinary.

With that late match surge, he also crushed Novak’s goal of achieving the Calendar Golden Slam — a near impossible feat accomplished only once before, by Germany’s Steffi Graf in 1988.

Tonight, with a convincing win over Karen Khachanov, Zverev became the first German to top the tennis podium since Graf earned Olympic Gold in Seoul. Graf required only five victories for her triumph. Zverev needed six. Both became Olympic champions by dropping only a single set the entire week.

Karen Khachanov. The Russian Olympic Committee’s #4 delivers for his team.

The last man on the Russian Olympic Committee’s roster, Khachanov showed tremendous heart this week to capture Silver in his Olympic Games debut.

  1. Daniil Medvedev, the ROC’s top player, struggled with the heat in Tokyo. After a brutal, blast furnace clash with Fabio Fognini in the Round of 16, the World #2 had little left in the tank for the Quarterfinals.
  2. Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev fell in Round-1 to Kei Nishikori.
  3. Aslan Karatsev lost a deciding-set thriller to Jeremy Chardy in Round-2.

All in all, however, the Russian Olympic Committee had a tremendous showing in Tokyo, earning 3 medals.

Immediately following the Men’s Singles Gold Medal match — Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andrey Rublev, Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev faced-off in the Mixed Doubles Final. Likely the best match of the tournament, Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev earned Olympic Gold in an extended match tiebreak. It was a fitting end to a remarkable nine days of competition.

Fifth meeting. First Zverev victory since 2018. This time for Olympic Gold.

Karen Khachanov has owned Alexander Zverev since the 2018 Paris Masters. It was Karen’s defining tournament. Not only did he demolish Zverev, he earned four top-10 victories to capture his first Masters-1000 title – including a straight-sets upset of Novak Djokovic in the championship match.

That said, Zverev earned his own defining win over Djokovic yesterday, coming back from a set and a break down reach tonight’s championship match. This evening, he followed-through on yesterday’s late-match momentum and barreled through Khachanov — capturing Germany’s first Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Singles.

Announcer Andy Taylor. Tokyo 2020. Gold Medal. Alexander Zverev defeats Karen Khachanov. Head to Head

Match context: Russia and Germany compete for Olympic Gold again (2000-Sydney)

Competing in their first Olympic Games, both of these top talents have earned five consecutive victories this week in Tokyo. Tonight, they compete for Gold and the enduring title: Olympic Champion.

[4] Alexander Zverev -05- (GER) | Gold Medal Announcer Introduction

He is a Grand Slam Finalist, a year-end ATP Finals champion, owns 15 ATP Singles titles in all, and has been ranked inside the top-10 for four consecutive years. On Friday – he played the match of his life. Down a set and a break, he came back to defeat World #1 Novak Djokovic to earn this opportunity to capture Olympic Gold for his country. Representing Germany, the World #5 Alexander Zverev.

  • FF — W — [12] Karen Khachanov -25- (ROC) | Score: 6-3, 6-1
  • SF — W — [1] Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Score: 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 | RECAP
  • QF — W — Jeremy Chardy -68- (FRA) | Score: 6-4, 6-1 | COURT-1
  • R3 — W — Nikoloz Basilashvili -41- (GEO) | Score: 6-4, 7-6(5) | COURT-1
  • R2 — W — Daniel Elahi Galan -113- (COL) | Score: 6-2, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R1 — W — Yen-Hsun Lu -573- (TPE) | Score: 6-1, 6-3 | COURT-1
[12] Karen Khachanov -25- (ROC) | Gold Medal Announcer Introduction

On Friday, this 25-year-old earned a straight sets victory over Bronze Medalist Pablo Carreno Busta – becoming the first player from his nation to reach the Olympic Games Men’s Singles Final since Yevgeny Kafelnikov captured Gold 21-years-ago. Ranked as high as World #8 – in all, he owns 4 ATP Singles titles, including the 2018 Masters-1000 title in Paris, where he upset Novak Djokovic to lift the trophy. Representing the Russian Olympic Committee, Karen Khachanov.

  • FF — L — [4] Alexander Zverev -05- (GER) | Score: 3-6, 1-6
  • SF — W — [6] Pablo Carreno Busta -11- (ESP) | Score: 6-3, 6-3 | RECAP
  • QF — W — [14] Ugo Humbert -28- (FRA) | Score: 6-4, 6-1 | COURT-1
  • R3 — W — [8] Diego Schwartzman -13- (ARG) | Score: 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 | COURT-3
  • R2 — W — James Duckworth -77- (AUS) | Score: 7-5, 6-1 | COURT-3
  • R1 — W — Yoshihito Nishioka -55- (JPN) | Score: 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 | COURT-3

SUMMER GAMES | Men’s Singles Medalists

Announcer Andy Taylor. Summer Games. Mens Singles Medalists 1896-2021

[divider style=”solid” color=”#cccccc” opacity=”0.5″ icon=”arrow-down” icon_color=”#666666″ icon_size=”15″ placement=”down”]

Amid COVID concern, the Games go on

Postponed for a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games finally launched on Friday, 23 July 2021. After 18-months of lockdowns, desperately trying to contain COVID’s insidious spread, the world finally developed effective vaccines. Sadly, though, 4-million lost their lives, while over 193-million contracted the virus. And Tokyo’s case count was also on the rise.

But thanks to science and nearly 2-years of experience, organizers understood that it was entirely possible to responsibly stage the Summer Games without creating a super-spreader event. No fans allowed. Tickets revoked. All international visitors barred from the country – unless competing or working.

From the athlete, to the volunteer, to the Japanese announcer and English announcer — everyone involved with the Games exercised the procedures and protocols painstakingly learned through 18-months of uncertainty and despair. Quarantines. Life in bubbles. Regular hand-hygiene. Masks. Limited long-term indoor exposure to others. And of course, social distancing. But above all else: Most of the Tokyo 2020 team was vaccinated.

Come hell or high water, the Summer Games would go on.

Naomi Osaka ignites the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Cauldron

On a more positive note, one of the most distinguished honors in all of sport is to light the Olympic cauldron. Any American over 40 remembers the emotional moment in 1996 when Muhammed Ali courageously climbed the steps to light the flame in Atlanta. His body ravaged by Parkinson’s disease. That singular moment creates indelible memories.

This year, the Japanese Olympic Committee secretly bestowed the honor to 23-year-old Naomi Osaka. Originally scheduled to play the first match on Center Court Saturday morning, it was unusual on Friday to hear that her match had been moved to Sunday. Nothing further was said.

Then, at the conclusion of a subdued, yet deeply respectful opening ceremony and parade of nations – it was Naomi Osaka who climbed the steps and torched the flame that brightly burned over the Games of the 32nd Olympiad. Obviously, it was a humbling honor not lost on the 4-time Grand Slam Champion, who was making her Olympic debut.

Well represented during the parade of nations, tennis players Petra Kvitova (CZE), Jelena Ostapenko (LAT), and Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) all served as flag-bearers.

Tennis at the Summer Games

One of the premier sports featured during the Games’ initial revival, tennis still has a contentious history with the Summer Games. It fell off the radar after 1924, mainly due to conflicts between the International Lawn Tennis Federation and the IOC. The two major obstacles:

  • Allowing professionals to compete in a global showcase for amature athletics.
  • Scheduling. With the Summer Games so close to the conclusion of the Wimbledon Championships, the ILTF and the IOC were in direct competition for tournament participation by the sport’s top-athletes.

After a 60 year absence, tennis and the IOC worked out their differences, and the sport returned as an official event during the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. Now under the guidance of the International Tennis Federation, professionals proudly represent their home nations.