Tokyo Olympics tennis: Andy Murray & Joe Salisbury out, Novak Djokovic wins

Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury are beaten in the doubles quarter-finals
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Andy Murray’s bid for an Olympic gold at a third successive Games ended as he and Joe Salisbury lost in the men’s doubles quarter-finals in Tokyo.

The British pair lost 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-7 against Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig in the quarter-finals.

Murray, 34, and Salisbury, a doubles specialist who reached a career-high ranking of three last year, were playing their first event together.

Liam Broady was the final Briton to fall after losing in the singles.

The 27-year-old was a late call-up to the British squad after Dan Evans tested positive for coronavirus, and marked his Olympic debut with two victories including a fine win over Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz in the second round.

However, beating France’s Jeremy Chardy proved a step too far and he lost 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1 in hot conditions at the Ariake Tennis Centre.

Murray rues defeat with Olympics future unclear

Murray, who won the singles at London 2012 and Rio 2016, pulled out of the individual event with a minor thigh strain to focus on the doubles.

The three-time Grand Slam singles champion forged an impressive partnership with 29-year-old Salisbury, who won his maiden major doubles title at last year’s Australian Open.

But they could not build on a lead of a set and a break as Cilic and Dodig turned the match around.

“I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to play again,” said Murray. “I’ve loved every minute of playing in the Olympics. I wished today could have gone differently.

“I had another chance with Joe to win a medal. We were so close, and that’s what’s disappointing. I would like to have done some stuff differently in the match to try to help out more. Very disappointed.”

The British pair broke serve in the first game of the match, maintaining that advantage as Salisbury clinched the opening set with an instinctive volley on a Murray service game.

Murray and Salisbury broke again for 3-2 in the second set and consolidated the advantage for 4-2, only to lose serve for 4-4 and see their opponents win the tie-break to force a decider.

Momentum stayed with Cilic and Dodig in the first-to-10 match tie-break, with the Croats taking the second of three match points when Salisbury volleyed long.

Who can end Djokovic’s dominance?

Novak Djokovic returns a ball in his third-round match at the Tokyo Olympics
Djokovic is bidding to replicate Steffi Graf’s 1988 feat of winning a ‘Golden Slam’ – all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold in a single calendar year

One of the big questions in tennis circles is who will be able to stop Novak Djokovic becoming the first man to complete a ‘Golden Slam’.

Serbia’s Djokovic has already claimed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles this year, and moved into the quarter-finals of the Olympic men’s singles with a 6-3 6-1 win over Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev is one of those bidding to end Djokovic’s hopes and is also through to the last eight after seeing off Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-2 3-6 6-2.

But 25-year-old Medvedev continued to be troubled by stifling conditions in Tokyo, saying he had breathing difficulties and calling for medical attention.

When asked by umpire Carlos Ramos if he was all right, Medvedev replied: “I’m fine. I can finish the match but I can die. If I die will the ITF [governing body International Tennis Federation] take responsibility?”

Next up for this year’s Australian Open finalist is Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, who won 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer.

German fourth seed Alexander Zverev beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 7-6 (7-5) and will face Chardy in the last eight.

But Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is out after suffering a 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 defeat by France’s Ugo Humbert.

Daniil Medvedev celebrates beating Fabio Fognini
Medvedev is a two-time Grand Slam runner-up, having lost in the 2019 US Open and 2021 Australian Open finals

Svitolina showing why she is the woman to beat

Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina was the first player through to the Tokyo singles semi-finals after a 6-4 6-4 win against Italy’s Camila Giorgi.

Svitolina, 26, is the highest-ranked player left in the women’s singles after early exits for Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Czech former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova lies in wait for Svitolina in the last four. The 22-year-old left-hander won the first set against Paula Badosa before the Spaniard withdrew through illness.

Swiss ninth seed Belinda Bencic won 6-0 3-6 6-3 against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlychenkova and will face Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, who beat two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Elina Svitolina celebrates beating Camila Giorgi
Elina Svitolina is aiming for a double celebration in Tokyo after marrying fellow tennis player Gael Monfils last week

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