Wow, what a line-up Wednesday at the London Olympic games. After four days of dodging rain drops and erratic play we are finally getting down to business, well almost. And the schedule is not unlike the one we see on the second Monday of Wimbledon. It’s absolutely loaded.
And what’s nice is the top four seeds on the men’s side are really playing good tennis right now, as opposed to the first round. Roger Federer still is benefiting from that easy draw of his. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have had their way in the last round as well. Even David Ferrer has quietly cruised.
And JW Tsonga, well what can you say. The fifth-seeded Frenchman was the story of the day and maybe the Olympic games Tuesday winning over Milos Raonic 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in the final set. That’s right, an Olympic record 25-23!! Incredible stuff from Tsonga who couldn’t convert some earlier matchpoints but finally broke through the Canadian’s serve in the 48th game.
“At the end I was just very happy for my country. I did it for them, and that’s it. When I arrive on the court, I forget myself, and I try to play for the others,” said Tsonga after the 3-hour, 57-minute marathon.
“It was not easy because I have to finish on his serve, and this guy have a big serve, so it was not easy. I had many possibilities and I didn’t took it. He played better than me on these points. Finally I did it, so I’m really happy. I think it’s something good, to have some good match like this at the Olympics. It’s good for tennis, it’s good for sports, and I’m just really happy the way I played today.”
Raonic, who just can’t seem to get over that proverbial hump was still positive in the loss.
“I created a lot of opportunities for myself, so it was a little bit unfortunate I didn’t make the most of them,” Raonic said. “There’s a lot of good things to take, there’s a lot of learning things to take from this.”
While Tsonga and Raonic are going in one direction – up – Andy Roddick’s career is going the other. After winning low-rent events in Eastbourne and Atlanta, Roddick, a 3-time Wimbledon finalist, got absolutely smashed today by Djokovic 6-2, 6-1. (And he may have gotten smashed after the match as well if you know what I mean.)
“He was just in the zone. The conditions were perfect. He was hitting it well,” Roddick said.
“It’s tough. If he’s hitting the ball like that, my chance is to serve really well. I didn’t serve great today. I hit the ball fine. He was just too good from the baseline. He was seeing it like a basketball today.”
Novak played well but to win just three games, Andy? on grass? Geez.
Novak now moves on to face Lleyton Hewitt tomorrow, and I expect more of the same from the Serb who has a bronze from the last Olympics. Maybe Djokovic has found the spark again, maybe he hasn’t. We won’t know likely until the weekend when the competition stiffens.
As for the favorite Federer, he’ll have Denis Istomin tomorrow then either Janko Tipsarevic or John Isner on Thursday. I think Tisparevic has a real good chance to upend Isner, the last American man, and even cause Federer problems. Either way, tomorrow could be the last day Federer has his way and he should with the Uzbek.
Meanwhile, Murray meets Marcos Baghdatis in a good one. Baghdatis is having a bit of a revival this week and the one-time Wimbledon semifinalist has given Murray problems in the past, but the Scot should prevail.
I also think (and hope) Tsonga should be able to get his legs back for a win over Feliciano Lopez. I like David Ferrer over Kei Nishikori and I’ll lean with Juan Martin Del Potro over Gilles Simon, though that’s a really tough match to call on a grass court which is probably both their weakest surfaces.
As for the women, Serena Williams looks positively unstoppable and I don’t think anyone is going to deny her the gold in singles or in doubles. With Serena winning the singles and then teaming with Venus in doubles, that family’s going to fly home with three golds next week. Maybe Maria Sharapova can get hot but I doubt it.
Venus plays Wimbledon semifinalist Angelique Kerber in maybe the best women’s match on the day while Serena has a 2010 Wimbledon final rematch against Vera Zvonareva. Third-seeded Sharapova has another showdown with big serving German Sabine Lisicki
Bravo network which has been on all week continues tomorrow with coverage starting at 7am ET. Enjoy the Olympics at Wimbledon!
WEDNESDAY LONDON OLYMPICS SCHEDULE
Centre Court Start: 12:00
Serena WILLIAMS (USA)  V Vera ZVONAREVA (RUS) 
Lleyton HEWITT (AUS) V Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) 
Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP) V Andy MURRAY (GBR) 
Daniela HANTUCHOVA (SVK) V Caroline WOZNIACKI (DEN) 
Court 1 Start: 12:00
Roger FEDERER (SUI)  V Denis ISTOMIN (UZB)
Victoria AZARENKA (BLR)  V Nadia PETROVA (RUS) 
Sabine LISICKI (GER)  V Maria SHARAPOVA (RUS) 
David FERRER (ESP)  V Kei NISHIKORI (JPN) 
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