Not surprisingly, Novak Djokovic ousted Andy Roddick from the 2012 London Olympic Games while Andy Murray and Venus Williams move on to Round 3. It’s looking like it will be a major Djokovic versus Roger Federer which will truly have the world watching.
As I predicted yesterday, the 2012 London Olympic Games battle between Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick would be either a speedy affair or a full out test of endurance. It was over in less than an hour and the most memorable moment was when Roddick sprinted forward to scoop up a ball near the net, then backpedaled for another shot, leaping, stretching and swinging in one desperate motion. This resulted in him hitting the ball into a camera bay. Djokovic ousted the US player from the second round of the Olympics at Wimbledon, with 6-2, 6-1.
“I hit the ball fine,” Roddick said. “He was just too good from the baseline. He was seeing it like a basketball.”
Roddick was not the only one who had high praise for his opponent. “It was a perfect match in every sense,” Djokovic said.
Not known for being so humble, but Djokovic has every reason to celebrate as he played a near perfect game, and everyone’s expecting him to go up against fan favorite Roger Federer at the Olympics. Then it’ll be off to the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows at the end of August along with Federer, and Roddick will also be there. Having been so high up and coming to such lows, I am rooting for him to at least make it to the semi-finals or at least further to go out with a bang over a muted whimper.
The Djokovic-Roddick battle had many of us really excited and anticipation was high for a second-round matche, and the crowd was near capacity when they took the court, with both players wearing red, white and blue. For the first time in the tournament, even the Royal Box was almost full.
Roddick started well enough, holding his first two service games, but from there the match quickly slipped away. His big serve was negated as a weapon against the game’s best returner, and in baseline rallies Roddick was no match for Djokovic, who deployed his extensive arsenal of slices, drop shots and rocket-like groundstrokes.
Djokovic won seven consecutive games during one stretch, and 12 of the final 13. He finished with 14 aces, lost only 10 points in eight service games and had just six unforced errors.
In the final game Roddick hit a perfect drop shot, but Djokovic ran it down and whipped it crosscourt for a winner. The Serb stood with his arms raised, basking in the roar of the crowd while Roddick shook his head.
“That was one of the best drop shots I ever hit,” Roddick shouted to Djokovic when the cheers died down.
Djokovic smiled. Then he hit another ace as would be expected from the strong Serbian player.
Naturally, everyone is wondering if Roddick will be retiring anytime soon since he’s not had the best of years, and losing this match didn’t shock or even relatively surprise anyone. I was rooting for a comeback, but this has been a rough rough years for him unlike Venus Williams, who’s close to retiring and showing that she’s got a lot of fight left to go out on top. She defeated Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in straight sets on Tuesday at Wimbledon to advance to the third round of the women’s singles tournament at the 2012 London Olympics
Venus’ first-round loss at Wimbledon last June made many wonder if this was the end of her reign from the top of women’s tennis, but she has fought back like a champion to put herself in position to win a second career Olympic medal in 2012.
At 32, she’s battling an autoimmune disease that takes a lot out of her on the court. Venus hasn’t won a Grand Slam in over four years and hasn’t been past the fourth round of any major tournament since the 2010 U.S. Open. She’s becoming the inspiration story for many by just her perseverance and tenacity against the seemingly futile odds.
Great Britain hopeful Andy Murray, seeded third, advanced by beating Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 6-4. Nieminen won cheers for his scrappy play, including a tumble into the first row in pursuit of a shot.
Three-time Olympian Lleyton Hewitt along with being the Wimbledon champion 10 years ago brought out his scrappy side to beat No. 13 Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 7-5.
Olympic history was made when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France defeated Milos Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in the second round.
Tsonga leaped and roared when he won on his fourth match point with a drop volley. Raonic congratulated Tsonga with a smile, and the crowd was right with him.
The previous record was 30 games in 2004 when Fernando Gonzalez defeated Taylor Dentin the third set, 16-14, to win the bronze medal.