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30 Jul, 2021 13:17

We will ROC you! Karatsev and Vesnina dump out Djokovic and Stojanovic to set up ALL-RUSSIAN mixed doubles Olympic final

We will ROC you! Karatsev and Vesnina dump out Djokovic and Stojanovic to set up ALL-RUSSIAN mixed doubles Olympic final

The mixed doubles final in Tokyo will be an all-Russian affair after Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina beat Serbian pair Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic in their semi-final on Friday.

Competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner, Karatsev and Vesnina overcame the Serbian duo in straight sets, 7-6 (6-4) 7-5, to progress to the gold medal match. 

There, they will meet compatriots Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who overcame Australian duo John Peers and Ash Barty in their semi-final earlier on Friday. 

Also on rt.com ‘Absolutely adorable’: Mixed doubles duo Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev win hearts on way to booking Olympic final place for ROC

The defeat for Serbia capped a disappointing day for men's world number one Djokovic, who lost his singles semi-final against Germany's Alexander Zverev earlier in the day – dashing his hopes of a historic 'Golden Slam'.

Djokovic valiantly returned to court for his doubles match with Stojanovic, but they were unable to overcome a dogged Karatsev and Vesnina. 

The ROC duo took the first set on a tie-break having saved set point on the Karatsev serve. 

The duo also battled back from a break down in the second set, breaking in game 8 and then for a second time in game 12 on the Stojanovic serve. 

The match-winning point came when Vesnina blasted a return of serve at Djokovic, who then sent the ball long. 

Vesnina – a four-time Grand Slam doubles champion and an Olympic gold medalist in the women's doubles in Rio five years ago – is in line for two medals at this summer's Games, having only returned from maternity leave at the start of the season. 

The 34-year-old star plays in the women's doubles bronze medal match alongside Veronika Kudermetova on Saturday.


She and mixed doubles partner Karatsev are guaranteed at least a silver and possibly more when they meet compatriots Rublev and Pavlyuchenkova one day later.

Beaten Serbian duo Djokovic and Stojanovic will play the Australian pair to battle for the bronze.  

Also on rt.com Djok shocked: Novak Djokovic's 'Golden Slam' dreams ENDED as Serb world number 1 falls to Olympic semi-final defeat against Zverev