Aug 16, 2008

Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez set up men's singles final at the Olympic tennis

It wasn't a dream final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. But it's okay as long as Nadal goes into the final on Sunday.

Last night's semifinal was a nail-biting match between the soon-to-be world no. 1 and world no. 3 Novak Djokovic that ended with the result 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 and I'm glad that it is Nadal who won in the end.

Let me tell you, last night's match was a torture, seeing how agressive Djokovic was and how biased the commentator was who clearly sided Djokovic (and wanted Nadal to lose).

Nadal who will be crowned the world no. 1 on Monday and world number 15 Fernando Gonzalez will meet in the men's singles final in the Beiing Olympic tennis event after two blockbuster semifinals yesterday.

Djokovic, the world number three hit a smash long to give the 22-year-old the first win on hard surface this season after battling for two hours and 10 minutes. And yes, Djokovic cried and only have himself to blame for his own mistake.

With the victory, Nadal now leads 10-4 over Djokovic in career.

American James Blake and Chilean Gonzalez joined to produce a thrilling yet controversial game where a point in the third set apparently distracted the American's mind.
I missed this match but still managed to check out the live score on ITF website.
Blake lost his concentration towards the end of the match when the umpire missed that Gonzalez's racquet touched a Blake backhand that went long and should have put the American 15-0 up on Gonzelez's serve in the 18th game of the third set.

And in the post-match press conference, the eighth seed hit hard at Gonzalez's sportsmanship.
"Yeah, hit a shot that hit Fernando's racquet and then went out. The umpire didn't see that it hit his racquet," said Blake.

"Playing in the Olympics, in what's supposed to be considered a gentleman's sport, that's a time to call it on yourself.

"Fernando looked me square in the eye and didn't call it," said a disappointed Blake.
After the incident, Gonzalez positioned himself to win the match when he broke the American's serve on a second break point in the 19th game, when the American hit a forehand approach long.

Blake fought hard to prevent his demise by saving four match points in the final game but made two forehand errors to lose the match from deuce.
"I've spoken all week about how much I've enjoyed the Olympic experience, how much I love the spirit of it, how much I love the other athletes, what they've sacrificed, and you appreciate that. And the guys go out and compete their hardest, win fair and square, lose fair and square," said the 28-year-old Blake.

"That's a disappointing way to exit the tournament when you not only lose the match, but you lose a little faith in your fellow competitor.

"I know him very well. I've played him many times on tour. He does everything in his power to win. Usually it's in the rules, sometimes it's bordering on gamesmanship. Whatever, that happens out there all the time.

"But he's too good of a player to do something like that and to act like that. That's why it's disappointing, because he is a great player. I can't take away anything from the fact he won the match. Came from back from three match points down, served really well, hung in the whole time. I'm not going to take anything away from the kind of tennis he can play, but there's still a level of disappointment in him."
It's okay, Blake. Nadal will beat Gonzalez for you.

(Images via AP Photo/Charles Krupa/Elise Amendola)
(Some text via xinhuanet)

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