TOKYO (AP) — With so much on the line — the Golden Slam, the calendar-year Grand Slam, Olympic singles gold — it's been a mystery to many why Novak Djokovic entered the mixed doubles tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.
Why risk injury or getting fatigued because of an event that doesn't have much of a following and might distract from the more pressing goals within reach?
"I was against it. The whole team was against it," Viktor Troicki, Serbia's Olympic team coach and Davis Cup captain, told The Associated Press in an interview after Djokovic reached the semifinals in both singles and mixed on Thursday. "It was just him. He wanted to play."
So there Djokovic was, partnering with Nina Stojanovic to beat the German pair of Laura Siegemund and Kevin Krawietz 6-1, 6-2 in a match that started less than two hours after he routed Kei Nishikori of host Japan 6-2, 6-0 in singles.
"I thought he had enough of tennis the last months," Troicki said. "Really, he played so much."