Murray, Del Potro Author Comebacks At Rio Olympics; Nadal Says No To Mixed, Stays Perfect In Singles
by Staff | August 12th, 2016, 12:25 am
  • 53 Comments

Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro both survived stern tests Thursday at the Rio Olympics.

In windy conditions, Murray came out strong against Italian veteran Fabio Fognini but fell apart in the second and went down 3-1 in the third. But the defending gold medalist roared back taking the last five games to win it 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.

“Just happy I got through and I have another opportunity tomorrow to play better, hopefully in easier conditions. It wasn’t a great match, it wasn’t pretty and at times it was really hard. I got through it and I won and that’s all that matters,” Murray said.

“The crowd got into the match for sure, it was a good atmosphere. I hadn’t won a game for 45-50 minutes,” he said. “That doesn’t happen too often. The conditions were making it very, very hard but once I got the momentum I went with it and that was it.”

Murray meets Steve Johnson in the quarters after the American blasted Evgeny Donskoy 6-1, 6-1.

“Anybody you play out here is not going to be a walk in the park,” Johnson said of the quarterfinals. “You go out there, you have a game plan and you make some adjustments. If it doesn’t go well then you have to think on your feet and play a game of chess out there.”

South American favorite del Potro kept his medal hopes alive overcoming a first set deficit to beat Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-7, 6-1, 6-2.

“I expect a difficult match,” said del Potro. “I made a lot of mistakes with my backhand and forehands in the beginning and in the end the crowd helped me a lot to survive and never give up and I think I played much better in the last games,” said del Potro.

Del Potro moves on to face Roberto Bautista Agut who was a winner over Gilles Muller. The Spaniard beat del Potro at the Australian Open a few years ago.

“It has been a great tournament, great week for me but I am looking forward to go far,” the Argentine added. “I am trying to go far to fight for one medal. I’m still playing well but the next round is going to be a really difficult match for me – Bautista Agut plays so good on this surface. He’s very fast from the baseline so I think it’s going to be an interesting match.”

2008 Beijing gold medalist Rafael Nadal advanced into the quarterfinals beating France’s Gilles Simon 7-6(5), 6-3. The two traded breaks in the first, then Nadal took control in the second to improve his record to 9-0 in singles at the Olympics.

“I won, that’s what’s important. I’m in the quarterfinals, which is very good news,” said Nadal. “A few days ago I wouldn’t imagine being in this position, but we have the desire and the energy high to give my best at every moment and that’s what I am doing.”

Afterward, Nadal and his partner Marc Lopez advanced to Friday’s men’s doubles gold medal match. The two will meet Romanians Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau who were winners over American’s Steve Johnson and Jack Sock.

Nadal was scheduled to play in the mixed with Garbine Muguruza but with the heavy load of matches ahead due to the washout Wednesday, he decided to withdraw.

Next for Nadal is Brazilian No. 1 Thomaz Bellucci who surprised David Goffin 7-6(10), 6-4.

“The crowd support me a lot, they motivate me in every match and for me it is amazing to play in this atmosphere,” said Bellucci. “We just play three or four Olympics in the career so for me it is very special to have a chance to play at home. It was amazing to play with the crowd and I have never played in such a stadium at home so for me it is very special.

“So far I am playing very well. The Olympics has been nice for me, I play three matches very well and today Goffin was favourite to beat me but I played really well.”

In the marquee quarter, Gael Monfils battles Kei Nishikori in a match-up of two very in-form players. Nishikori hasn’t dropped a set after crushing Andrej Martin 6-2, 6-2. Monfils advanced in three over former US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4.

FRIDAY RIO OLYMPICS SCHEDULE
Centre Court
starting at 12:00
(11) KVITOVA Petra (CZE) vs PUIG Monica (PUR)
not before 13:00
(3) NADAL Rafael (ESP) vs BELLUCCI Thomaz (BRA)
(7) KEYS Madison (USA) vs (2) KERBER Angelique (GER)
(5) MERGEA / TECAU (ROU) vs (6) LOPEZ / NADAL (ESP) ** GOLD MEDAL MATCH

Court 1
starting at 12:00
(12) JOHNSON Steve (USA) vs (2) MURRAY Andy (GBR)
followed by
(6) MONFILS Gael (FRA) vs (4) NISHIKORI Kei (JPN)
JOHNSON / SOCK (USA) vs (7) NESTOR / POSPISIL (CAN) ** BRONZE MEDAL MATCH
WILLIAMS / RAM (USA) vs (ITF) VINCI / FOGNINI (ITA)
PEREIRA / MELO (BRA) vs MATTEK-SANDS / SOCK (USA)


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Roger Federer Can’t See Himself Playing Mixed Doubles With Martina Hingis BEFORE The Olympics
Rafael Nadal Confirms He Will Play Singles At The Rio Olympics
Roger Federer And Martina Hingis In Mixed Doubles At The Rio Olympics?
Bravo/NBC Olympics Tennis TV Schedule
Players Won’t Get ATP Or WTA Rankings Points At The Olympics, Reaction Is Mixed

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53 Comments for Murray, Del Potro Author Comebacks At Rio Olympics; Nadal Says No To Mixed, Stays Perfect In Singles

El_matador Says:

If rafa and lopez win the Gold(they should) and rafa can get that 2nd singles gold(when he’s not fully fit!!),his olympic record will look so absurd..he is the player you can expect to come back any time and win everything..if he’s in that “rafa zone”,all others are playing for the 2nd spot…
Though i hope he loses to delpo in the semi(if delpo gets there,a big if):-)


AndyMira Says:

I knew something bothered Andy as soon as he lose the 2nd set..and like other great champion,he come back in just a right time to steal the match..i have no doubt he once again will win in two or three[depends on the condition on court] against Johnson..Andy’s too good for Johnson..

As for Rafa..no doubt he will get a stern test from local fav Belluci but i think Rafa wants the medal badly since maybe this is his last Oly..and Belluci will be put away in two..


BBB Says:

Good for Murray. I tend to think having these types of scares is ultimately good prep for winning a tournament.


Daniel Says:

Great point by Murray to break back, 4-4


BBB Says:

Steve Johnson is playing the tennis of his life.


Daniel Says:

Murray closes tiebreak, that was close.

First semi finalist and 75% chance of coming out with a medal:

- win win: gold
- win lose: silver
- lose win: bronze
- lose lose: no medal


Margot Says:

The great escapologist survives again. Had nerves of steel in tie, unlike his fans. And fortunately saved his best tennis for the tie too.
But if anyone finds his missing backhand please could they send it back asap.


Daniel Says:

C’mon Bellucci, you have 0 chance at a Slam but winning in home sould would be epic for him.

3-1 holding the break. Nadal’s BH not on so far


Margot Says:

5-2 now.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Bellucci playing super agressive and retunring well, but Nadla just defendomg short and moonballing.
5-2 Bellucci to serve for first set


BBB Says:

Must be disorienting for Rafa to be “unpopular” esp. in Latin America.


Anto Says:

Nadal’s ROS is a coin toss. Be it first serve or second serve. If he plays like this, he is gonna lose this match.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..I told you your guy would medal! He scared me a little bit, but Andy dug himself out again!


Anto Says:

Nadal is still hitting so many short balls. Is this a physical issue i dont understand why does he hitting short balls again n again n again ..


Daniel Says:

Bellucci breaks back when Nadal served 5-3 but as expected with his history of choking got brokem to lose set. Worst that coyld happen because now Nadal serves first third set.


Anto Says:

Nadal is still capable of losing the match. But if bellucci keeps making mistakes at importants points, nadal may win this. I cant imagine what will happen to nadal (if he manages to win this) when he plays a hot del porto


Anto Says:

Out of nowhere nadal played a good return game to break bellucci. This is what makes me more sad. He can still play great tennis at times.


Anto Says:

Nadal managed to win this. I wonder what he is going to do against del porto.


Daniel Says:

Don’t know why I expend energy cheering Bellucci.

Nadal maintaing his perfect score at Olympics, 10-0 matches same position woth Murray, 75% chance of a singles medal. One guaranteenin doubles he can have 3 Medals after this Games and, 3 Golds.

Kei 1 set up. Eager to see if DelPo will come thorugh, hope so. Him and Nadal will be duel of ailing wirsts


Van Persie Says:

Thanks to Bellucci, I expect Rafa to be a bit tired in his double match.
Go Tecau and Mergea!


Okiegal Says:

800 club for Rafa! I noticed something today that he didn’t do that he usually does. Generally if he wins the second set when he has lost the first set, he is very jubilant…..big dramatic fist pumping and vamosing. He was very mild mannered…a slight fist pump…just surprised me. I was all primed and ready for the high kick of the leg. I was disappointed. He was rather calm after the last point of the match too.


Okiegal Says:

Go hard Rafa and Marc……take home the GOLD for your homeland!

VAMOS to the Spanish Brigade!!


AndyMira Says:

Thank God,Rafa won..it’s always not easy to play local fav especially the one who wants it so badly as you..Rafa looks ‘trouble’ at the end..hopefully nothing to worry about…

Wheeee!!..M,JK,RZ….congrats for another Andy win…doesn’t matter whether he did it in his usual scary manner..a win is a win..


Okiegal Says:

@BBB…..I wouldn’t expect anything less for the South American crowd. After all Brazil is South America. They were rather rude cheering every point Rafa lost and also when he would hit into the net on serve. I think that was unsettling for Rafa……don’t poke the bear, would be my advice 🐻🐻🐻 or should I say the 🐂🐂🐂….LOL 😀😀😀

Good job Rafa for holding it together when I’m sure it felt like the whole world was against you! Yep, he’s a tough little hombre!!


El_matador Says:

@okie,maybe rafa was mild mannered because he played in front of some very passionate brazilians who wanted to see tomaz win badly and rafa thought it would be disrespectful to be fist pumping and vamosing wildly..


BBB Says:

El_Matador – that would be my guess. He has been restrained in the past (e.g., defeating Federer at Wimbledon).


Daniel Says:

DelPo wins in twi, DePo x Nadal one semis. Another blockbuster match.

Kei x Monfils very competitve. 30-30 Monfils two points away on Kei’s serve.

But it looks like it will go to another tiebreak.


Okiegal Says:

@El_matador 4:38…….Glad you said that, because that is exactly what I thought too……we are on the same thinking field…..you too BBB.


AndyMira Says:

El_matador,BBB…that would be my guess as well….one of his quality is his graciousness…that’s why he’s not complain when some of the crowd still cheering when he’s about to serve or when he made an UE..


Daniel Says:

Poor Monfils, lost the match when he didn’t kill that smash at 4-0 to go ip 5-0. Than DF on Match point on his serve.

Kei is in the semis. Great line ups: Nadal x DelPo and Murray x Kei.


BBB Says:

Poor Monfils. They always say you need to learn how to win. It seems like Monflls has waited too long to take tennis seriously, and in the big moments he has trouble delivering.


AndyMira Says:

Monfils squandered a lead in 3rd sets TB and lost to Kei…and Andy sure has an advantage over kei in semi since Kei must be tired from this encounter…

While Rafa..his chance against DelPo..50-50..


skeezer Says:

“While Rafa..his chance against DelPo..50-50..”
Or
“While Delpo..his chance against Rafa..50-50..”

It can go both ways ;)


AndyMira Says:

Yes Skeezer..agree..


AndyMira Says:

Congrats to Rafa/Lopez for the gold..and much much credits to Mergea/Tecau for a good fight and game..and what’s more good sportsmanship!


BBB Says:

I was distracted and got confused as to why they were so happy – forgot it was a gold medal game!


AndyMira Says:

M…i found Andy’s backhand but not sure whether it’s enough time to reach Rio on time for his match vs Kei…oh!wait..don’t think Andy need it that much since Kei too tired to notice that Andy’s backhand is missing..

Btw…sorry for Andy and watson’s loss in mix…


AndyMira Says:

@BBB!!…you!!


Okiegal Says:

@AM, I survived both matches today….I was worried in his singles match today, but he showed a lot of poise during important points and got it done.

@BBB The excitement he showed all during the dubs match is what I’m talking about! He was so happy to win GOLD with a good friend.


AndyMira Says:

Want to give a special congrats to the one and only,already a legend and a hardcore no 1 fan of Rafael Nadal…MISS OKIEGAL FROM ADA,OK..Thank you for your endless support ma’am!Truly grateful to have you as a rafa fan and very privilige to know you personally..also to other great supporter WILLOW who’s out there somewhere[camping?]..and great rafa’s fan on this site..Giles and other’s..


Anto Says:

Yahoo rafa won the doubles gold.


AndyMira Says:

@Okie…i want to be honest with you…you have to worry about Delpo’s match…with Rafa’s spent so much energy already…don’t know about his chances…although i am ready to accept anything..if he wins..it’s a bonus..if he lost..he’s already got 1 gold and this is already an extraordinary comeback from Rafa..what more could we ask,right Okie?


Giles Says:

Well done Rafa winning Gold
What a Champion!
What a Legend.
Vamos!


Margot Says:

Fantastic from Rafa.
Told you all he was gonna get a medal! :)


Margot Says:

LOL AM. BTW not going to embarrass you by asking exactly WHERE you found Andy’s back hand ……..;)
Can hear you and OK still whooping and shrieking hours and hours later! Great uplift for Rafa fans. And well done Lopez too of course.


AndyMira Says:

Oh M!..I’m not going to embarrass you either by saying that i found it in my kid’s school bag..said she borrowed it for a while to show it to her friend how awesome Andy’s two backhand’s are…Btw..i’ve already fed-exed to him and it’s going to work perfectly well in final soon!…

#Andy====>Final[Wheeee C'monAndee!]


Okiegal Says:

@Margot……I was very nervous in both matches, I will admit! I didn’t get behind the sofa……but I might against DelPo! That will be a hard match for Rafa. It might go down as the battle of the wrists.

@AndiMira 10:38..Sweet post from my fantastic FACEBOOK friend! As Rafa fans we have been through a lot supporting Rafa. But we are resilient just like he is! I am worried about the match, I am not gonna lie. But I, like you…… win lose or draw I will roll with it and be happy with what ever medal he wins. To come this far after being off with an injury is amazing! I’m a happy camper, and I will just imagine Willow is a happy camper too!!

I have had a hard day at the old tennis courts today….it is time for a hot 🛀🛀🛀🛀!! Night all and wishing good luck to all of the players who will vie for the GOLD!!


AndyMira Says:

@Okie…actually i want to add just a littleeee bit more…like D’Nay said a couple of weeks ago…MISS OKIEGAL FROM ADA,OK..A VERY KIND,SWEET,AWESOME,MAGNIFICENT,GENEROUS,LOVING MOTHER IN LAW IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!..GOOD NIGHT OKIE..prepare yourself mentally for Delpo’s match,please!


Margot Says:

OMG AM! You used FedExpress? That backhand will be lost forever……..;)


AndyMira Says:

Oh no no no M…you need not worry about that sweetie..Andy already messaged me on FB that he’s already can see his TWO backhand[i repeat TWO] from the Rio sky wave cheerily at him…so, CALMDOWNPLEASE M!


Giles Says:

VP. So sorry you were disappointed with the result. NOT.
Cheers🤗


Margot Says:

Lol AM. Loving that image :)


AndyMira Says:

Ha ha ha ha…i know you would M!Btw…i hope you will relax for tonight’s game M..no need to hide behind your beloved sofa anymore..

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