By Rozanna Latiff and Karolos Grohmann
TOKYO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Alexander Zverev became the first German tennis player to win an Olympic gold medal in the men’s singles category on Sunday, beating Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee 6-3, 6-1. (ROC).
Zverev’s victory surpasses that of Tommy Haas at the 2000 Sydney Games, when he won silver in the men’s singles, and equals the success of Steffi Graf in 1988 in the women’s singles tournament. Boris Becker and Michael Stich won men’s doubles gold in 1992.
The world number five, who surprised by eliminating Novak Djokovic on Friday, had an almost flawless performance against Khachanov, who had no answers for the German’s serve and return game.
Zverev broke the 25-year-old’s serve twice to take the first set, before sweeping the second, winning five games in a row.
Khachanov managed only one game in the final set before the German secured victory in one hour and 19 minutes.
The win is one of the most important in the career of Zverev, who came close to claiming his first Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open but lost the final to Austrian Dominic Thiem.
In the women’s doubles final, meanwhile, Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova defeated Swiss Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic 7-5 and 6-1 to get their country’s first Olympic gold in this sport.
The victory of the Czechs, top seeded and three-time Grand Slam champions, ended Bencic’s dream of two golds for Switzerland, a day after she won the singles tournament by beating Marketa Vondrousova.
(Edited in Spanish by Javier Leira)