Tampa Bay’s Austin Krajicek, Tennys Sandgren to play for bronze medal in men’s doubles

Olympics

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 25: Tennys Sandgren of Team USA and Austin Krajicek of Team USA during their Men’s Doubles First Round match against John Peers of Team Australia and Max Purcell of Team Australia on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(NBC Olympics) — The American men’s doubles tennis team of Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren lost to the top-seeded Croatian team of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic on Thursday in Tokyo and will move on to the bronze medal match. 

The Mektic/Pavic team won 6-4, 6-4 in 81 minutes, hammering seven second-set aces.

Krajicek and Sandgren are United States’ last shot to win a medal in tennis at these Olympics. They will now face New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus to play for a spot on the podium. Frances Tiafoe and Rajeev Ram, the other U.S. men’s doubles team, lost in the second round.

In women’s doubles for the U.S., Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jessica Pegula were knocked out in the quarterfinals and the Alison Riske/Nicole Melichar team lost in the first round. 

Sandgren, who also qualified in singles, lost to Spain’s Pablo Carreno in the first round. Tommy Paul, the only men’s singles player on the roster who qualified outright, lost in the first round, then Tiafoe and Marcos Giron both lost in the second round. On the women’s singles side, all three Americans — Jennifer Brady, Pegula and Riske — lost in the first round.

The mixed doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who both won medals with other mixed doubles partners in 2016, also lost in the first round. 

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