Lights On

News for nerds

Marketa Vondrousova and Belinda Bencic will face each other in the women’s tennis singles gold medal match. Vondrousova, who toppled the second seed, Naomi Osaka, in the third round, continued to back up that big win by outplaying Elina Svitolina, the fourth seed, 6-3, 6-1.

“I was thinking that two or three matches would have been great, and then I beat Naomi so then I thought that I was playing well and that maybe I could even do better,” said Vondrousova, who is from the Czech Republic. “I’m now just happy to be in the final. It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t believe it. Maybe it’ll sink in later. This is amazing, even if it’s silver or gold, it’s amazing and I’m just very proud.”

Earlier in the day Bencic, the ninth seed, navigated her path into the final by defeating Elena Rybakina 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3, the first of two wins in another stellar day in Tokyo. She will now become the first Swiss player to win two Olympic medals in the same year after she also reached the women’s doubles final alongside Viktorija Golubic, beating Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani 7-5, 6-3. They will face the tops seeds, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

“I didn’t expect this, I didn’t imagine,” said Bencic of her two medals. “I dreamed of this but we just said that we hope tomorrow we don’t wake up in our bed and it’s just a dream and we’re gonna be pinching each other. It’s not possible to describe it now.”

In the men’s draw Novak Djokovic continued his march towards a first Olympic gold medal by demolishing the home favourite, Kei Nishikori, 6-2, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals. He now stands two wins from victory, which would allow him to chase the golden slam at the US Open in New York, which starts next month.

Djokovic is also competing in the mixed doubles event where he has reached the semi-finals alongside Nina Stojanovic, after they beat Germany’s Kevin Krawietz and Laura Siegemund. They face Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev next.

His singles semi-final against Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, may be his toughest match of the tournament after the second seed, Daniil Medvedev, was toppled 6-2, 7-6(5) by Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain. Carreño Busta will face Karen Khachanov in the other semi-final, with the winner guaranteed at least a silver medal. “I played one of my best matches of my career,” said the Spaniard.