Less than a month after an eventful grand slam, the world’s top players return to the luscious grass to compete for the coveted gold medal at the London Olympics. The Olympics promises to be just as unpredictable as the Wimbledon, if not more.
Novak Djokovic appears to be in the peak of his form. After seeming less than comfortable in the first round against Fabio Fognini, he pummeled three time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-1 in just under 54 minutes to set up a quarterfinal clash with Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt who defeated Marin Cilic. Glimpses of Lleyton Hewitt’s past were witnessed in the quarterfinal as Novak Djokovic had to pull out all the stops to defeat Hewitt 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a rather impressive match.
Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the longest match in the history of Olympics when he defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic in a rain struck match in the second round on Court One. Tsonga came through 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in three minutes short of four hours in spite of having two match points earlier in the 3rd set, the first at 16-15 and the other at 21-20.
Wimbledon champion and recently crowned top ranked player Roger Federer faced a bit of a struggle in the third round against Denis Istomin on Day 5 in London. Federer waded through the match hastily to seal a 7-5, 6-3 win. However, fate was not on his side in the doubles match later on that day. When Federer returned to the court alongside Stanislas Wawrinka, with whom he grabbed the gold in Beijing, to face the Israeli pair Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, the Swiss pair was defeated in spite of winning the first set with considerable ease. The score being 6-1, 6-7 (5), 3-6.
It would seem that all the big guns in men’s tennis have made it through to the semifinals at the London Olympics.
Tsonga fell rather meekly to Djokovic in the quarterfinals. The scoreboard reading 1-6, 5-7.
Roger Federer made amends by getting rid of John Isner 6-4, 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
Even as Andy Murray raced to win the first set against Nicolas Almagro of Spain, a recurring shoulder injury haunted the Spaniard throughout and he eventually fell 4-6, 1-6 to the Scot. Andy Murray now faces Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Novak Djokovic has never lost to Andy Murray in a grand slam event in the past.
The Argentine, Juan Martin Del Potro Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6 (4) at Court One to set up a semifinal clash with Roger Federer.
The women’s event has been just as enthralling.
In the first quarterfinals, Victoria Azarenka overcame Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 7-5 to set up a semifinal showdown with Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams who defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-3 with great ease.
Maria Sharapova got the better of former champion Kim Clijsters by defeating her 6-2, 7-5 and will face Maria Kirilenko in the semifinals at the Olympics.
Maria Kirilenko faced stiff competition before overpowering Petra Kvitova 7-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.