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A Look Back: Beijing 2008

I know the tennis event ended a week ago, but the summer Olympic games are perhaps the greatest gathering in sports and I feel the need to appreciate them, especially with all that went down in this year’s games. Here’s what I thought after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

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Li Na Ignites a Blogoshpere Firestorm

In China, that is. During her semifinal match against Dinara Safina she yelled “Shut up” to the crowd in English. The Chinese saw the incident, now called “Shut-up Gate”, as an attempt to distance herself from her Chinese identity. A firestorm ensued in the Chinese blogosphere.

“Can’t she just speak Chinese? She thinks she’s so Westernized just because she plays a bourgeois sport,” One blog was quoted.

“You can’t expect everyone to understand the rules of watching a tennis game, What we can do as Chinese is  to cheer as much as we can whenever we see our players competing. What’s wrong with that?” Another blog was quoted.

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On The Podium: Beijing 2008

“Nowhere in my best dreams I can imagine something like what I did this year,” Nadal said after taking gold over Fernando Gonzales. “I know how difficult it is to win these things, and especially here, because you only have one chance every four years.” This is the first Olympic gold medal for Spain in tennis. Tomorrow, Rafa will take over for Roger Federer at the top of the rankings.

In the Chokefest of the Century for the gold medal in women’s singles, Elena Dementieva came out on top (for once). Dinara Safina threw in 17 double faults as her 15-match win streak came to an end. Vera Zvonareva took bronze for a Russian clean sweep of the medals.

Venus and Serena Williams redeemed their singles losses with a routing of the Spanish team of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual in the gold medal match, 6-2, 6-0. The Sisters remain undefeated at the Olympics with a 10-0 record.

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Photo Op: Rafa Brings Nole to Tears

Novak Djokovic cries after his gold medal hopes are crushed by Rafa Nadal. Novak, I’m not even gonna call you Djerkovic tonight because I feel kind of bad for you.

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What Happened?

I go to sleep with the prospect of a Federer-Nadal and Venus-Serena gold medal match looming and a wake up to these surprising results from Beijing. Serena lost. Fed lost. Serena’s gold medal campaign was ended by Sydney 2000 silver medalist, Elena Dementieva. Serena was up a set and 4-2 before Dementieva stormed back and took it 6-3 in the third. Seems like Elena has Serena’s number, she’s won in their last two encounters.

Even more surprising was James Blake’s upset of Roger Federer, in straight sets, too. Normally, I would be upset about this, but during the Olympics I seem to go all patriotic for some reason. R. Fed’s forehand was an unforced error machine and his serve was unreliable. Blake pretty much hit him off the court. Now, James is guaranteed to be in contention for a medal.

Crazy sport, tennis is.

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Quick Hits: Olympic Third Round

  • Serena wins a tight match over Alize Cornet, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and breaks a racquet in the process
  • Venus beat Viktoria Azarenka to set up a meeting with Chinese hopeful, Na Li.
  • JJ somehow is winning matches beating Dominika Cibulkova, 7-5, 6-1.
  • Elena “Rocket Serve” Dementieva beat Caro Wozniacki, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
  • R. Fed avenges his Athens 2004 loss to Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 7-6.
  • Rafa routines Igor Andreev, 6-4, 6-2.
  • Djerkovic beat Mikhail Youzhny, 7-6, 6-3.
  • James Blake defeated Gilles Simon to set up a date with Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

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Casey Dellacqua, Get Over It

Casey Dellacqua slammed Olympic officials for “being forced to strip down to her sports bra in front of thousands of fans in Beijing.” Casey wanted to change her shirt, but did not want to take a bathroom break to do so, instead wanting to go behind the back fence. The chair umpire, however, would not let her. Jesus, its just a sports bra, its not like her boobs are hanging out. She’d still be wearing way more than what the beach volleyball players wear. Some women’s tennis players are such divas.

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Quick Hits: Olympics First Round

  • China’s Na Li took out the third seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
  • Wimbledon semifinalist, Chinese Jie Zheng, upset 11 seed Agnes Szavay, 7-5 in the third.
  • New world number 1, Jelena Jankovic, beats Cara Black on one leg, 6-3, 6-3.
  • Both of the Sisters advanced comfortably.
  • R. Fed and Rafa won both their singles and doubles matches.
  • Yen-Hsun Lu upset Andy Murray, 7-6, 6-4.
  • Serbians, Novak Djerkovic and Janko Tipseravic, both advanced.

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Ivanovic Out, Disaster Continues for Olympic Tennis

With all the smog, heat, rain and withdrawls already in the women’s Olympic tennis event, you would think it couldn’t possibly get worse. Well, the tournament just lost its top seed and one of its biggest attractions, Ana Ivanovic. She has had pain in the joint between her fore finger and thumb since after Wimbledon. Her doctor says this could mean a plaster cast which would also mean a withdrawl from the U.S. Open, but its too early to tell.

“It’s one of the hardest moments in my career,” Ivanovic said. “I’m very, very disappointed.”

And with rain forcasted for the next three days, this is going to be a big ole mess.

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China, Spy on the Williams All You Want

China has allegedly been monitoring the Williams sisters training sessions. And Serena and Venus could care less. Frankly, China can spy on them all they want, it really isn’t going to help them beat the sisters. This is presumably being done for the doubles competition, where the Chinese have a better chance of medaling.

“We don’t know. We just follow that yellow ball, we don’t look around,” said Serena in response to question.”We’re out there, we’ve been practising the last two days together. The only thing I see is the ball or whoever I’m practising with at the time,” she added.

Well, if the Williams are healthy, they’re taking the doubles gold, no matter who is spying on them.

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