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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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Quick Hits: Olympics Quarters + Semifinals

  • Rafa continues his stellar year and defeats Novak Djerkovic in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. He’ll next face Fernando Gonzales for the gold medal.
  • James Blake wastes three match points against Gonzales and loses a thriller, 11-9 in the third. After the match Blake accused Gonzales of unfair play.
  • JJ loses to Dinara “WTA Tour Savior” Safina, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
  • R. Fed redeems himself in doubles with Stan Wawrinka, upsetting the Bryan Bros. in three sets.
  • Venus and Serena remain the last Americans still in contention for gold after smashing Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva in dubs.

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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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