London (Olympics) – finals


Gold medal match:
(3)Andy Murray [GBR] d.  (1)Roger Federer [SUI]      6-2, 6-1, 6-4     [1:56 h]   

Déja vu at Wimbledon. Four weeks after Wimbledon’s final, Federer and Murray met again on Centre Court to play other very important match – the Olympic final. Murray knows how to compete against Federer, he was very close to lead 2-0 in sets a month ago, but the style in which he won his gold medal today, I suppose had been unpredictable even for his biggest fans. The initial phase of the match foretold another gripping final between these two men. Federer wasted a double break point in the opening game, Murray one break point leading 2:1. Since 2-all spectators were watching the match in disbelief – Federer lost nine games in a row (!), it’s something had never happened to him before in 78 matches at Wimbledon, and not too many times overall – the last time at the Roland Garros final four years ago when he lost to Rafael Nadal (1-6 3-6 0-6) dropping nine consecutive games as well. In my opinion his marathon match against Del Potro shouldn’t work as an excuse. [Del Potro defeated Djokovic two days after that extraordinary semifinal, in turn Murray was involved on Saturday in two demanding mixed doubles matches while Federer had a day off]. During this astonishing streak of winning games, Murray was playing exceptionally well, he was like a wall in defense, his serve was huge, and the net attacks were impeccable, especially one of them as he saved a break point in the 3rd game of the 2nd set – he saved six break points in total in that game (seven deuces), and it was the crucial moment of the final. The decisive break came at 2-all in the 3rd set, Murray even had a double break point for a 5:2 lead, but Federer survived in fashion, only to suffer two quick service holds of his opponent. Murray finished the singles Olympic competition delivering two aces in succession (210 & 213 kph respectively), and covered his face in joy. It’s his 23rd title, and definitely the biggest one. Murray said: “This week’s been absolutely incredible, I’ve had a lot of fun. I felt so fresh on the court today. I didn’t feel nervous really at all apart from at the beginning of the match. The support’s been unbelievable.”… Stats of the final. I think Murray with this triumph can dig himself out of the “tennis purgatory”, which in his case means being “eternal” No. 4 in the world. It’s a place where he has been balancing for five seasons between being a contender to the biggest triumphs and slumping on lower places in the ATP ranking. The Brit obtained 750 points this week approaching closely to the No. 3 Rafael Nadal. I guess Djokovic and Nadal are exhausted after an unbelievable 15-month rivalry. There’s a question: do their four consecutive huge finals finish some period in the history of tennis, and is it a time for a third big final between Murray and Federer at the US Open? The answer is just five weeks ahead. Both Murray and Djokovic, are supposed to play next week in Toronto (Federer and Nadal withdrew earlier). Both spent the last six weeks on grass, thus they may need a little time for a proper adaptation to the hard-courts. It allows to predict that finally a player outside the “big 4” might win one of the most prestigious tournaments – the last time it occurred 20 months ago in Paris 2010 when Robin Soderling raised the trophy.

Bronze medal match:
(8)Juan Martin del Potro [ARG] d. (2)Novak Djokovic [SRB]      7-5, 6-4    [1:48 h]

The Serbian player lost this match in a very similar style to his semifinal loss: there were two sets of highly entertaining tennis, Djokovic was very close to win one of them but lost both by a small margin – one break of serve on each set. In the 1st set he led 3:2* (40/0) – during that game the match was suspended 68 minutes due to rain – and 5:4 (30/15), but Del Potro managed to hold his serve and broke in the 11th game to finish the set after the longest game of the match (four deuces, Djokovic had two break points). In the 2nd set Del Potro got the vital break in the 3rd game. He was 15/30 down serving for the bronze medal when hit an ace and two service winners. He celebrated this victory on knees, crying, afterwards waving the Argentinian flag. It’s a bit surprising that such a strong tennis nation like Argentina has now collected just two bronze medals – the previous one, Javier Frana and Christian Miniussi had automatically guaranteed after their semifinal defeat in doubles at the Barcelona Olympic Games ’92. “Today I made three fantastic serves in a row in the last game,” said Del Potro. “I had luck to close the match in that game because I was so nervous. If I lost that game, [it] would be really tough to keep fighting for the rest of the match.” It’s the first Olympic medal for Argentina at the Olympics 2012. Does Del Potro come back to the place where he was once? I think so, I thought that he’d be a serious threat reaching the Top 8, which is happening now. It secures him omitting the best guys before quarterfinals of Masters Series and Grand Slam tournaments. It’s extremely important given how strong the Top 4 is, and how difficult opponent for Del Potro, David Ferrer can be.


Gold medal match:
(1)Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan [USA] d. (2)Michael Llodra / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] 6-4, 7-6(2)

Bronze medal match:
Julien Benneteau / Richard Gasquet [FRA] d. David Ferrer / Feliciano Lopez [ESP] 7-6(4), 6-2

The Bryan brothers joined their compatriot Andre Agassi  on Saturday winning “Golden Grand Slam” (all majors + Olympic gold medal) after beating the French duo in 88 minutes on Centre Court. “This is the biggest win of our career right here,” said Bob Bryan. “It’s unbelievable.” Mike Bryan said, “To play on Centre Court at Wimbledon and win the gold medal is a dream come true. We could stop tomorrow and we got a big smile on our face for the rest of our lives.” The twins join Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde as the only pairs to win multiple medals in the men’s doubles event – four years ago they gained the bronze medal in Beijing. It’s 81st title for Mike and 79th for Bob. The twins dropped one set in the tournament, in the first round on day one (previous Saturday) as they defeated Brazilians, Bellucci/Sa 7-6 6-7 6-3 breaking them once in the entire match at 4:3 in the 3rd set; Bryans came back from a 2:5 deficit in the first tie-break. In the following two matches they played four consecutive tie-breaks (the Russian and Israeli team), in the last two matches defeated the French pairs.

Mixed doubles

Gold medal match:
(1)Max Mirnyi / Victoria Azarenka [BLR] d. Andy Murray / Laura Robson [GBR] 2-6, 6-3, [10-8]

Bronze medal match:
(3)Mike Bryan / Lisa Raymond [USA] d. Christian Kas / Sabine Lisicki [GER] 6-3, 4-6, [10-4]

The inspired Murray by his impressive singles wins, did all he could to take the pressure off the 18-year-old Laura Robson – the British teenager has never entered the Top 90 in singles or doubles. Murray was motivating and encouraging her during all four matches they played together. The British duo came twice from a 2:5 deficit in the super tie-break, but the Belorussian pair in the final (played after the singles final) was too tough: Mirnyi is one of the biggest doubles specialists, his partner Azarenka – one of the best women in the game. Given these circumstances, the fact Murray and Robson were three points from the gold medal is praiseworthy. Mirnyi used his huge experience on the third match point as he served second-first serve which surprised the returning Murray – he raised the ball too high allowing Azarenka an easy overhead. “This is a dream come true at possibly my last Olympics,” said Mirnyi. “It’s fabulous to win the title. It certainly adds an extra spice to the tournament, it being at Wimbledon.” ‘The Beast’ had won three big titles in mixed doubles before: Wimbledon (1998 – S.Williams) and US Open (1998 – S.Williams, 2007 – V.Azarenka).

   Washington (500)

Tommy Haas transformed his surprising form he’d displayed in the last few months in Germany onto his second “motherland” – the United States, appearing in his third final of the past five tournaments. He was six points away at 4-all in the 2nd set to grab the title. The final was 3-hour suspended with Haas leading 5:4* in the 1st set. For Alexandr Dolgopolov [25] it’s the 2nd triumph in an ATP tournament, the first one this year: “For sure, I’m very happy, and especially winning a match like that [which is] really tight, goes up and down, the rain breaks. I’m really happy with myself that I stayed concentrated and was in the match in all the three sets.” Despite the ‘5000’ status, Mardy Fish was the only Top 30 player to participate in the event, which is quite intelligible on account of the Olympics.

S: (2)Alexandr Dolgopolov d. (4)Tommy Haas  6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1
D: T.C.Huey/D.Inglot vs K.Anderson/S.Querrey 7-6(7), 6-7(9), [10-5]

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