Novak Djokovic shook his head and placed his palm over welling eyes on his way to the locker room after a first-round Olympic exit, devastated he might never realise his goal of adding a gold in singles to a substantial collection of Grand Slam titles.
“I mean, no doubt, it’s one of the toughest losses in my life, in my career,” Djokovic said later, shaking his head and speaking in subdued tones. “Not easy to handle.”
The Serb was hardly alone in his disappointment on day 2 of the Rio de Janeiro Games: He was one of three No 1 seeds to exit the tennis competition in a wild span of 12 hours.
With Djokovic out of the draw, 2012 gold medallist Andy Murray, who is seeded No 2, becomes the favourite as he bids to become the first player to win consecutive Olympic singles titles. He won his opener in that event Sunday, 6-3, 6-2 against Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.