Nikola Metkic and Mate Pavic win an all-Croatian men’s doubles Olympic final
July 30, 2021
Nikola Metkic and Mate Pavic of Croatia won a memorable men’s doubles Olympic gold medal game at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. The reason why this was memorable? Well, because Metkic and Pavic beat an another Croatian duo in the final, in Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig, 6-4, 3-6, [10-6], in a third set super tiebreak.
This was the first time that a super tiebreak was used in the Olympic men’s doubles final. When tennis rejoined the Olympic Games for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul after a 56-year hiatus, a best-of-five format was used for the entire tournament. The best-of-five format was used for the entire tournament again at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Then starting at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, a best-of-three format was used, but you had to win the third set by two games two win the match. For the final, the best-of-five format remained. This format was used through to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Then starting at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a best-of-three format was used, but you still had to win the deciding set by two games. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro a traditional tie-break for the third set was used.
Metkic and Pavic were the number one seeds in the tournament. Since 1988, they became the fourth number one seeds to win the Olympic gold medal in men’s doubles. The others were Americans Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, who won at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde of Australia, who won at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and American twins Mike and Bob Bryan, who won at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. There were huge headlines earlier in the day during the Olympic tennis tournament as Novak Djokovic was denied the chance of a Golden Slam as he lost in the men’s semifinal to Alexandre Zverev of Germany.
This was Croatia’s third gold medal at the Olympic Games. They also received a gold medal from Matea Jelic in the women’s 67 kilogram taekwondo, and Martin and Valent Sinkovic in men’s coxless pair rowing.
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