Novak Djokovic has claimed that he is suffering from a number of injuries as well as exhaustion after he lost to Pablo Carreno Busta for a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games.
The world number one then followed up the defeat by withdrawing from the mixed doubles with Nina Stojanovic, where a bronze was also up for grabs.
Busta beat Djokovic 6-4. 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 as the Serbian failed to claim a medal.
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Speaking after the match, the 34-year-old said: “I am dealing with injuries. Not one, more than one.
“I hope that it won’t stop me from going to the US Open, which is my next big goal.
“I do not regret coming or giving my all; how can I have regrets, it is normal when you are at the Olympic Games representing your country.
“Unfortunately, for the third time at the Olympics, I am losing in the semi-finals. I won the medal only once. I mean, ’only’, a medal is a medal, but for my standards and expectations and wishes, not an ideal outcome“.
As one of his country’s favourites for a medal, he apologised to those back home.
“I apologise to all the fans in Serbia who I have disappointed. I know everyone expected a medal, I did too. I feel bad for Nina because we did not fight for a medal in mixed, but my body said ’enough’: I have played under medications and abnormal pain and exhaustion. But again, my heart is in the right place, because I know that I gave my all. I love to play for my country. Unfortunately, I did not get the result I wanted, but that is sport, we move on,” he said.
Despite the disappointment, or perhaps because of it, Djokovic is keen to get back to the 2024 Games in Paris.
“Three years… Not that far, but on the other hand it is, since I do not have 25 years anymore,” he said.
“I do not see the finish line of my career. Olympics, Davis Cup, ATP Cup, and the Grand Slams, those are the tournaments that inspire me the most to go on. It is a privilege to play for Serbia, I want to play in Paris. If I am there, I hope to win a medal“.
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