JUST eight men remain in the hunt for medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following the completion of the Round of 16 matches yesterday. With five of the top six seeds in action, four advanced through to the next round, whilst there was one huge upset, and the home crowd favourite remained alive in the tournament.
Kei Nishikori continued his winning streak at his home event, overcoming an early challenge from Belarusian Ilya Ivashka to win the first set tiebreaker 9-7 before storming to a 6-0 win in the second set. After the first set lasted 82 minutes, the second set bagel was just 39 minutes, as Nishikori dropped just two points on serve and won 31 of the 47 total points. He hit 10 winners to 18 for the match, but had 17 less unforced errors (27-44). The Japanese former Top 5 player now has the toughest ask, up against top seed Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian made light work of 16th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, rolling past the Spaniard in straight sets, 6-3 6-1. The match lasted 83 minutes as Djokovic hit 19 winners – including nine aces – to Davidovich Fokina’s 12. The world number one also had 11 less unforced errors (12-23), and only dropped 12 points on serve for the entire match, facing just two break points and saving both, whilst breaking his opponent four times from nine chances.
The biggest upset of the day belonged to 14th seed Ugo Humbert, as the Frenchman’s scalps in the past 12 months continued to grow, this time knocking off third seed Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas. It lasted three sets, but Humbert eventually claimed the win, 2-6 7-6 6-2 to advance through to the quarter finals. He needed two hours and 20 minutes, bouncing back from a disappointing first set, to close out the second set tiebreaker 7-4, then claim the win with a 52-minute third set despite the lob-sided scoreline. Tsitsipas’ serving disappeared in the final set, not serving an ace after 10 in he first two sets, and only hitting seven winners outside aces for the match, compared to Humbert’s 22.
In other results, second seed Daniil Medvedev had to fight for it, but overcame 15th seed Fabio Fognini in three sets 6-2 3-6 6-2. The Russian second seed set up a quarter finals clash with sixth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, following the Spaniard’s tight two-set win over German Dominik Koepfer, 7-6 6-3. Meanwhile fourth seed Alexander Zverev took care of Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 7-6, to set up a quarter finals clash with Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy. France joins Russia as the only nation with two medal chances remaining, with 12th seed Karen Khachanov to face Humbert in the other quarter final.
OLYMPICS MEN’S ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated  Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 6-3 6-1
 Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated  Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-2 3-6 6-2
 Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated  Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 2-6 7-6 6-2
 Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4 7-6
 Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 7-6 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 7-6 6-0
Picture credit: ATP Tour