Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic tennis, over and out

It has taken me a while to write this today, partially because I was busy doing "summer" things, but partially because this one was a hard one for me to process.   Not so much because Roger Federer lost - to win both Wimbledon and Olympic gold within a month of each other would be quite an accomplishment, but because of the way he lost.  I mean, if someone would have told me the final score line as their prediction I probably would have laughed.  But it became obvious as the match went on that Roger was simply depleted, certainly emotionally and maybe physically also.  Of course, Andy Murray was playing amazing tennis too, and he fully deserved the gold medal.  If he would have been playing anyone else I would have been thrilled for him.  However, he wasn't playing anyone else, he was playing the GOAT who had just one major thing lacking in his resume, and it was difficult to see it end almost without a fight.

I thought about it quite a bit as we were on our long motorcycle ride today and came mostly to peace with it.  And when I came home and found the medal ceremony finally on my recording, seeing Roger looking very happy, and reading some of his comments I really felt much better.  Here's the one I really liked:  “I had a very emotional tournament from start to finish. I could have lost in the first round against (Alejandro) Falla. Same thing obviously with (Juan Martin) del Potro. I felt like I won my silver, I didn’t lose it. So I feel very, very happy.”

Of course his fans would have loved to see him win gold.  However, silver is awfully darn good, considering he has won 8 titles over the last 10 months, including Wimbledon, and regained the #1 ranking.  What he has done has been amazing, and he and his fans should be incredibly proud.  

And what a boost for Andy Murray.  Great props to him for not having his former post-losing-grand slam slump and coming back to win in style - not only gold in singles but also silver in mixed doubles.  And awesome job for Del Potro to beat Djokovic and win the bronze after, he said, crying till 3 a.m. after losing the semi.  Very clutch of him to come back after that deep disappointment.  The U.S. Open this year should be very interesting indeed!

Serena Williams was scary good during this entire Olympic tournament.  Wow, can you imagine being able to play like that, against the world #1 and #2?  Completely amazing!  And so happy for Bob and Mike Bryan, who finally got to win their gold medal.  They said if they are still playing after the Rio games they have agreed to shoot each other.  And the U.S. got another medal, a bronze one, from Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond in mixed doubles.  Great job, U.S.A., making tennis a very relevant sport!

While I'm sure I will watch some of the big tournaments this coming week, to be honest I'm feeling a little depleted from all this and looking forward to a little break from the intensity.  It will all start again with another major, after two Masters 1000s, in only three weeks time, though, with the U.S. Open.  Tennis never truly ends, thankfully for tennis fans.

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