Novak Djokovic Pulls Out of Doubles Match, Missing Last Chance of 2020 Medal

Novak Djokovic will definitely leave the Tokyo Olympics empty-handed due to an injury forcing him to withdraw from his mixed doubles bronze medal match.

The withdrawal came just hours after the Serbian slipped to a surprise defeat to Pablo Carreno Busta in the men's singles bronze medal match.

Djokovic went down 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 to the Spaniard to compound a miserable week on the court for the world number one.

The 34-year-old arrived in Tokyo as the overwhelming favorite to win the men's singles in a triumph that would have seen him move one step closer to completing the Golden Slam of all four major titles and an Olympic gold in one year.

Djokovic's chances were bolstered further by a string of high-profile withdrawals before the Games began, including arch-rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

However, in a dramatic semi-final encounter with Alexander Zverev on Friday, Djokovic lost the match despite taking the first set 6-1 against the German.

His disappointment was compounded later that same day when he Serbian partner Nina Stojanovic lost to Russian duo Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles, ending any prospect of him winning a gold at these Olympics.

Djokovic had been due to return to the court alongside Stojanovic to take on Australian pair Ashleigh Barty and John Peers in the bronze medal match.

Barty and Peers have since been awarded a walkover victory after Djokovic withdrew citing, according to the International Tennis Federation, a "left shoulder injury."

His withdrawal left Stojanovic without a partner, depriving her of the chance at claiming a bronze in the process.

Speaking to reporters after his withdrawal, Djokovic expressed disappointment with the way the Olympics have personally played out for him.

"I do have a regret for not winning a medal for my country and opportunities missed both in mixed doubles and singles and, yeah, I just didn't deliver yesterday and today," he said.

"The level of tennis dropped also due to exhaustion, you know, mentally and physically."

Despite going home without a medal to his name, the Serbian had no regrets about choosing to compete in Tokyo.

"I don't regret coming to the Olympics at all," he said. "Of course not. I believe there is no coincidence in life, everything happens for a reason and I had some heartbreaking losses at the Olympic Games and some big tournaments in my career."

He also pledged to return again at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, when he will be 37.

"I know that I will bounce back. I will try to keep going for the Paris Olympic Games. I will fight for my country to win medals. Sorry that I disappointed a lot of sports fans in my country, but that's sport," he said.

Djokovic will now turn his attentions on completing a clean sweep of all four men's singles titles at the U.S. Open, which begins on August 30.

Don Budge and Rod Laver are the only men to have won all four majors in a calendar year, with Laver achieving the feat in two separate seasons.

Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Novak Djokovic during his Men's Singles Bronze Medal match against Pablo Carreno Busta - the Serbian ended up losing to the Spaniard and has since withdrawn from his Mixed Doubles Bronze Medal Match. Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty

Update 07/31/2021, 07:29 a.m. ET: This page was updated with further information and context throughout.