Olympics 2021: 3 talking points from Novak Djokovic's thumping QF win over Kei Nishikori

Novak Djokovic in action against Kei Nishikori
Novak Djokovic in action against Kei Nishikori

Novak Djokovic moved into the semifinals of the Olympic Games for the third time in his career with a crushing 6-2, 6-0 win over Kei Nishikori on Thursday.

Djokovic will next face either Alexander Zverev or Jeremy Chardy as he bids to keep his Calendar Golden Slam hopes alive.

The Serb was almost flawless in the quarterfinals against Nishikori, producing unbelievable angles from all corners of the court to stifle the Japanese.

On that note, let's take a look at the three major talking points from Novak Djokovic's win over Kei Nishikori.

#1 Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer's record for most match wins in Olympic singles

With his win over Kei Nishikori in Tokyo on Thursday, Djokovic has registered 13 match victories in singles across four editions of the Olympic Games. He has now equaled Roger Federer's all-time record for the most match wins at the Olympic Games.

Djokovic's tally of 13 wins includes five at the 2008 Games in Beijing, where he ended up with the bronze medal.

The Serb won four matches at the London Olympics in 2012, before losing to Andy Murray in the semifinals and then Juan Martin del Potro in the bronze-medal match.

Del Potro knocked out Djokovic in the first round of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, meaning the Serb failed to add to his tally that year.

However, with the four wins he has racked up in Tokyo, Djokovic has been able to equal Roger Federer's all-time record. The Serb will have the chance to move past the Swiss when he takes the court against either Zverev or Chardy in the semifinals.

#2 Kei Nishikori was simply a passenger in the second set

Novak Djokovic outplayed Kei Nishikori in the opening set before the Japanese capsized in the second.

After dropping the opening set 6-2, Nishikori earned himself a break point early in the second. But the Serb ended up saving the break point after which it was one-way traffic. Nishikori managed to win only four points on the Serb's serve in the second set, three of which came frodouble faults.

The home favorite did not fare any better on his own serve. Nishikori managed to win a mere six points on his delivery in the second set and was broken thrice by the World No. 1.

#3 Novak Djokovic has now beaten Kei Nishikori at all four Slams, Olympics, and the ATP Finals

Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori

With his quarterfinal win, Novak Djokovic improved his head-to-head record against Kei Nishikori to 17-2. The Serb has beaten the Japanese in each of their last 16 encounters.

What is even more impressive is the fact that he has beaten Nishikori at each of the four Slams, the ATP Finals, and the Olympic Games.

Having previously gotten the better of Nishikori at the Australian Open (2016, 2019), Roland Garros (2010), Wimbledon (2018), US Open (2018), ATP Finals (2014, 2015, and 2016), Djokovic added another feather to his cap by beating the Japanese in their first-ever meeting at the Olympics.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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