Novak Djokovic "can't have everything" summed up Alexander Zverev on Friday after he stopped the Serbian's bid to become the first man to complete the Golden Slam.
World number one Djokovic had been the overwhelming favourite to win the singles gold medal at the Olympics after he arrived in Tokyo having won the season's first three majors -- the Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon.
Djokovic needed to win a maiden Olympic singles gold and the U.S. Open in September to complete the feat of capturing the four slams and the Olympic gold in the same year.
But Friday's unexpected defeat to Zverev abruptly ended those lofty ambitions.
With Djokovic already owning 20 Grand Slam titles, a men's record he shares with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, and 36 Masters 1000 titles, Zverev said the Serb already had more than enough.
"I feel sorry for Novak but at the end of the day, he's won 20 Grand Slams, he's won 550 (sic) Masters series or whatever it is, so you can't have everything," Zverev, who came from a set and a break down to win the semi-final 1-6 6-3 6-1, told reporters.
"As I said, he is the greatest player of all time and he will win the most Grand Slams out of anybody on tour.
"But I am also happy I am in the finals, so what more can I say to that."
The 24-year-old Zverev sobbed for several minutes courtside following his win over the Serbian, who had beaten him in five consecutive meetings dating back to 2018 and appeared set to extend the streak before the German fought back.
"Obviously, yeah, it's an amazing feeling knowing that you're going to bring the medal back to your house, back home to Germany," Zverev said.
"It's incredible beating the best player in the world undoubtedly right now and in this season.
"It seemed it was impossible to beat him at this event, so I'm very happy right now. But yet there's still one match to go."
The fifth-ranked German will meet Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee in the gold-medal contest.