It may not have come in his preferred event, but in his third try Roger Federer finally has his Olympic gold medal. Federer teamed with Stan Wawrinka giving Switzerland the gold in doubles after a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 win over the Swedish duo of Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson.
Federer had come up short in prior medal attempts at 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens, and this week his bid for singles gold fell short again on Thursday in the quarterfinals when he was upset in straight sets by James Blake. But despite the loss the 27-year-old Federer focused on the doubles event and it paid off Saturday in Beijing.
“Sort of a dream-come-true moment,” Federer said afterward. “Maybe it comes around once in a lifetime. It’s almost disbelief, to some degree.”
Novak Djokovic, who lost a grueling three-setter to Rafael Nadal in the singles semifinals yesterday, rebounded today to beat Blake 6-3, 7-6(4) and capture the bronze medal, which is the first medal of any kind for Serbia at this Olympics. Blake was beaten in the semifinals by Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.
In women’s singles play, Russia is now assured of gold having placed both Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina in tomorrow’s final. Dementieva handled her Russian countrywoman Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6(3) while Safina edged China’s Li Na 7-6(3), 7-5.
Also today in Beijing, the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus who were both upset in the singles event Thursday, kept their perfect Olympic doubles record alive by reaching the doubles final after a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alona and Katerina Bondarenko. The Williams, who won the gold at 2000 Sydney, will face fourth-seeded Spaniards Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Pascual.
And the top American team of Bob and Mike Bryan won the bronze medal besting Frenchmen Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Singles gold medals will be on the line Sunday as Rafael Nadal meets Fernando Gonzalez in a best-of-five set final. The match will follow the Dementieva-Safina contest slated to begin at 2pm on Centre Court.
The Williams sisters will bid for gold on Court 1 at the conclusion the 2pm women’s bronze medal match between Na and Zvonareva.
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