The undisputed world number 1, Novak Djokovic, had to endure what was one of the worst nights of his career when he succumbed to a 7-6, 7-6 first round defeat at the hands of the Argentinean Juan Martin Del Potro, in arguably the biggest shock of the lawn tennis finals at the Rio Olympics.
A grief-stricken and visibly distraught Djokovic admitted that his defeat in Rio was amongst the worst losses of his career. The career grand slam winner also went on to say that he had made winning a gold medal for his country a priority, with it being the only major prize not present in his impressive trophy cabinet.
Del Potro, who had been largely absent from the tennis world recently due to persistent injuries, expressed his shock and disbelief after beating the world no. 1 in straight sets. “I didn’t expect to beat Novak tonight, but I played an amazing match, my forehand worked great”, said the former world no. 4. They did make a gruelling contest to watch, but Del Potro’s superior forehands made all the difference on the one night it mattered the most.
Novak and Juan both turned on a brilliant display of sportsmanship after the game by congratulating and consoling each other fervently, and the rasping crowd in Brazil applauded their brilliance with great admiration and respect, to create one of the best moments of the Rio Olympics.