Roddick Rudely Removed from Olympics by Gonzalez

Posted on August 18, 2004

<a href='' id=namelink>Fernando Gonzalez</a>Fearless Fernando Gonzalez ushered in a gloomy day for the United States team in tennis competition at the Athens Olympics. Minutes before American star Venus Williams was shockingly sent home by France’s Mary Pierce, Gonzalez unmercifully ended Andy Roddick’s Olympic dreams with a 6-4, 6-4, win over the American in third round play on Wednesday.

With top seed Roger Federer eliminated Tuesday along with the early exits by Marat Safin and Juan Carlos Ferrero, the second-seeded Roddick was the clear tournament favorite to win the gold on the remarkably fast courts at Athens, but the 20th-ranked Gonzo put prompt end to that discussion.

``I'm gutted right now. It's not every day we get to play this,'' Roddick said after the beat-down. ``You can't say, 'Next year.'''

The Chilean Gonzalez, one of the biggest and fiercest swingers in men’s tennis, actually had his game on thumping Roddick with 24 winners to hammer home his second career win over the reigning US Open champion.

“You have to tip your hat to Fernando," added Roddick.

Roddick had just come off a thrilling three set win yesterday over Germany’s Tommy Haas during which he saved three match points late in the third set.

On the women’s side, Sydney 2000 gold medalist Venus Williams lost by a similar score of 6-4, 6-4 to Pierce. The sixth-seeded Williams has continued to struggle since returning to the game following injury last year, and the former French Open champ Pierce took advantage.

The loss by Williams also means that for the first time since 1988, no American women will win an Olympic medal. That follows losses today by Chanda Rubin to Amelie Mauresmo and Lisa Raymond to Alicia Molik.