Death, Taxes, Rafa, and Nole.
The only things we can count on anymore.
To call it a rough day for the favorites would be an understatement. Roger, Venus, and Serena all played error-full tennis and deserved their fates. But let's face it, their losses hurt the Olympic tennis.
I haven't watched Roger's match yet but from the little pieces I've seen he looked utterly lost out there. Nothing was working and unfortunately for him, the aggressive, go for broke James Blake showed up and he was on, absolutely crushing forehands and serving well.
Luckily the Rafa/Nole showdown is still on the books for tomorrow, with the winner being the HEAVY favorite for the gold. Rafa destroyed Melzer while Nole had to deal with La Monf, who I have decided is the most frustrating player to watch on the men's side. I hate his defensive pusher game. All credit to Nole for not losing his patience and getting sucked into it. He had some fantastic net play today, which was huge for him as it allowed him to shorten points and not let Monfils retrieval skills dominate the game.
As for the ladies, I am reminded of my favorite quote from Bud Collins after the French Open: "I have watched enough tennis to know never to count out the Williams sisters. I also know you should never count on them."
How many times have we seen both Venus and Serena absolutely demolish the competition in the early rounds, and then get hit by a complete mack truck in rounds three or four? How can we explain it? How can they explain it? Of course Serena had a much tougher task against Elena D., who is proving to be quite the Olympic competitor, but she was a set up and couldn't close it out. Venus' loss is a bit easier to take. She's never a favorite outside of SW19 anymore, this was her first tournament since Wimbly, she was playing a resurgent Na Li on her home court, and it was a closely contested 75 75 match.
So at least one of the semifinals is set. It will be an all Russian affair between Lena D. and Bepa. Could we see an All-Russian sweep of the medals? It seems appropriate.
The ladies will have a break tomorrow as the last match of the day (and the most anticipated), JJ vs. Dinara was suspended at 1am due to rain. They will play tomorrow and the women's semifinal will be played on Saturday. Na Li has to be rooting for JJ. In what is a completely weird statistic, Na Li is 4-1 against JJ and all four wins have been on hard courts. And we all know how the Chinese dominate the Serbs for whatever reason.