Novak Djokovic inflicted a brutal beatdown on Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. Djokovic won 6-2, 6-0 to progress to the semifinals of the quadrennial event for the third time in his career while also keeping his hopes of a Calendar Golden Slam alive.
The World No. 1 played like a man possessed from start to finish, not yielding an inch to a hapess Nishikori. Djokovic was thoroughly dominant on serve as well as return, winning 59 points as compared to the Japanese's 31.
Nishikori struggled on serve and was broken five times by the Serb. But he fared even worse in the return games, mustering a mere 11 points on Djokovic's serve.
Speaking to the media after the match, Nishikori admitted that the Serb was considerably superior on the day. The Japanese claimed he was rendered helpless by Djokovic during the match and rued the fact that he could not put up better numbers on his serve.
"Djokovic was just too strong, I couldn't do anything, I feel frustrated at that," Nishikori said, as per a translation provided by Twitter handle @seiadoumogera. "Failing to make many 1st serves, I didn't get my rhythm, had a bad start on my serve in both sets and he put pressure on me every time. The way he (Novak Djokovic) played today, this week and the last two months is amazing."
Nishikori, whose best result at the Games came in 2016 when he won the bronze medal, asserted that he has had a good Olympic campaign despite his crushing defeat to Djokovic.
"It's a tough loss for sure, but it was a good week," Nishikori said. "I've got that good feeling back for the first time in a while, played some good matches and takes much positives despite the defeat."
While capacity crowds are not allowed at the Olympics, a decent number of locals (mainly scribes) were present to watch their favorite player in action. Nishikori expressed his gratitude towards his supporters and apologized for not putting up a better show.
"Under such difficult circumstances I can play with support from many people, I'm grateful for that, but I feel sorry that I couldn't repay the support with a good result, I will try again next time," he added.
Where will we see Kei Nishikori & Novak Djokovic in action next?
While speaking to the media, Kei Nishikori confirmed his participation at next week's Citi Open in Washington. He will join the likes of Rafael Nadal, Jannik Sinner, and Nick Kyrgios in the ATP 500 event.
"I'll be back on the tour next week," said the Japanese. "I've taken much positives from the Games, want to make it a huge step for me."
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic will be seen in action on Friday when he takes on Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Olympics.
Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic will then square off against Russian duo Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev for a place in the summit clash of the mixed doubles event.