WATCH: Should on-court coaching be permitted in professional tennis?

The Golden Slam+?

The Double-Golden Slam?

The Majors and a Mixed?

These are the things we can think about when pondering the future of professional tennis’ 1%—aka Novak Djokovic—who on Wednesday not only advanced to the quarterfinals in his quest for Olympic singles gold, but began another treasure hunt in mixed doubles.

On a day that saw No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas eliminated and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev debilitated by Tokyo’s heat and humidity (“I can finish the match but I can die,” said Medvedev—who would go on to win—at one point to the chair umpire), the superb Serb calmly ousted 16th seed Alexander Davidovich Fokina, 6-3, 6-1.

And as if to remind us of his impenetrable state, Djokovic then played another match in mixed, winning alongside Nina Stojanovic, 6-3, 6-4, over Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani.


Stojanovic and Djokovic are one of four unseeded teams left in the top half of the mixed doubles draw.

Stojanovic and Djokovic are one of four unseeded teams left in the top half of the mixed doubles draw.

The Serbians will now face Germany’s Laura Siegemund and Kevin Krawwietz, who ousted third-seeded Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Rajeev Ram—the gold and silver medalists at the 2016 Olympic Games, respectively—in a 10-point supertiebreaker (used in place of a third set).

Mattek-Sands’ medal chances were also dashed in women’s doubles, with the American falling alongside Jessica Pegula to Brazil’s Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani.

"Pressure is a privilege, my friend," Djokovic said in response to a question after winning both of his matches on Wednesday. "Without pressure there is no professional sport. If you are aiming to be at the top of the game you better start learning how to deal with pressure and how to cope with those moments—on the court but also off the court."

Djokovic’s solo venture has been devoid of drama thus far; he’s won all six sets by at least a 6-4 score. But things should get more interesting quickly, as he’ll take face Japan’s Kei Nishikori on Thursday, in a match that would have generated an incredible fan atmosphere. Alas, it is and will still feel significant, despite Djokovic’s 16-2 head-to-head record. In the opposing quarterfinal, fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev will face unseeded Jeremy Chardy.

Serbia currently has one gold medal in Tokyo, earned by taekwondo athlete Milica Mandic. Djokovic took part in that celebration, alongside his compatriots:


One can only think about the celebration if Djokovic comes out on top in singles—and/or mixed doubles.

"All that buzz and all that noise is the thing that, I can't say I don't see it or I don't hear it, of course it's there, but I've learned, I've developed the mechanism how to deal with it in such a way that it will not impose destruction to me. It will not wear me down," Djokovic said. "I feel I have enough experience to know myself how to step on the court and play my best tennis."