Saturday, August 16, 2008

No way. The Olympics started already? part three

I'm just sitting here watching Roger Federer serve for the gold medal ... in doubles. Guiding us TV spectators on our Olympic journey is Barry Mackay, master of stating the obvious.
"Ohh, it's wide."
"Let cord."
"Second serve."
Anyway, this is pretty nice. Federer and Stanislaus Wawrinka just won the gold. OK, that was the oddest celebration I've ever seen -- Wawrinka lying on the ground and Fed doing some sort of voodoo on him. Maybe that's how they were able to take down the Bryan brothers in the semis.
'Kay. The Williams sister also rebounded from the singles and continued their doubles run, beating the sisters Bondarenko, and will play Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
But the big story so far has been the Blake v. Gonzalez fiasco. I still haven't seen the point in question (anyone know of a video?), but I do know this. I've never not been sure when a ball has grazed my racquet. So, Fernando, the whole "If I’m 100 percent sure about it, I mean, I will give it. But I’m not sure, you know" thing doesn't fly. But congratulations, I guess.
Back in the States, Andy Roddick is holding it down on the U.S. Open preparation tip. Oh. No, he's not. He lost in the quarterfinals in D.C. to Viktor Troicki. OK, so he doesn't go to Olympics to play the best in the world, which I think can be argued would be the best preparation for a Grand Slam. Instead, he stays in the U.S. with the second stringers -- and can't beat them! Man, if that doesn't boost the old confidence, I don't know what will. (Oh, maybe playing for a bronze medal at the Olympics?)


yogahz said...

I didn't see the doubles but that's a funny image - voodoo.

I *did* see a replay of the grazing incident and it sure seemed to divert the ball. I agree that the tiniest bit of the ball can be felt through our racket. AND - if you're not 100% sure it DIDN'T tip the racket then it DID tip the racket.'s never one point that determines a match, unless you let it.

Naf said...

Absolutely right, yogahz. On all counts. I know I've never played in the Olympics before, but I'd like to think I'd be able to be honest in a moment like that. I'd also like to think that if that happened to me, I'd be able to refocus and stay on the match. Ah well.

van said...

Hey Yogahz and Naf. That actually happened to me once way back in high school, and it was in a match against my doubles partner that I played in junior tournaments with! He and his partner didn't 'fess up to it, and my partner and I went down in flames after that. If your regular doubles partner can do that to you in a high school match, there's no telling what can happen when playing for a medal.

The thing, too, though is that Blake shouldn't have even been at that point. Maybe that'll show him he has to be way tougher upstairs to avoid tricky things like that even happening.

Naf said...

Ouch, Van! That's cold-blooded! And you know what gets me is that when you have these kinds of discussions with other players, they say, "I'd never do something like that." That's what everyone SAYS.
Of course, I agree about Blake. He can mentally fold so easily, which is why I was so surprised that he was able to maintain against Federer. I hope he can learn some lessons from this one -- and from his win against Fed.

yogahz said...

Both Blake and Roddick seem to like to get mad at someone or something to get fired up. I guess this time Blake was so flabbergasted by what he perceived to be cheating that he couldn't use it.

Naf said...

That's pretty blatant, yogahz, and definitely a tough thing to recover from or use as motivation. That's Henin-at-the-French blatant. A lot of people called Blake out for whining, but is it wrong to expect your opponent to play fair?