Haranded’s Weblog

Roger Federer took out his frustrations on the doubles court as he claimed Olympic gold with partner Stanislas Wawrinka on Saturday.

The Swiss ace and world number 10 Wawrinka pummelled Sweden’s Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 as Federer claimed his first Olympic medal in three attempts.

Federer, who loses his number one ranking on Monday and was upset in the singles by James Blake, was vigorously pumped up for the final and roared in Swiss German at every important point.

The Swedes had won a record 59-game marathon in the semis and they did not come to life until the third set. The Swiss immediately broke back but wilted in the tense tie-break as Wawrinka netted on the second set point.

But the decisive break came at 2-1 on Aspelin’s serve. With Federer serving for the match, Johansson hit a return wide sparking delirious scenes between the Swiss pair who hugged and cavorted on the floor.

Earlier Novak Djokovic claimed Serbia’s first ever tennis medal while the giant-killing run of China’s Li Na came shuddering to a halt.

Djokovic won a slug-fest with US number one James Blake 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to clinch men’s singles bronze, compensating for his disappointing semi-final loss to Rafael Nadal.

“To win any medal in the Olympics is a huge achievement for any athlete. Not many athletes get a chance to win a medal,” Djokovic said.

“But for me, this bronze shines like a gold because I think I’ve played pretty good tennis all the tournament.”

Dinara Safina ousted Li 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 to set up an all-Russian final with 2000 silver-medallist Elena Dementieva, who beat compatriot Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

The results guarantee the dominant Russians their first women’s tennis gold to follow Yevgeny Kafelnikov’s Sydney 2000 triumph for the men.

Highly decorated US twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds, clinched their first Olympic honour 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 against France’s Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra in the men’s doubles bronze medal play-off.

Sydney 2000 champions Venus and Serena Williams reached the women’s doubles final by beating Ukraine’s Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the only all-sister match-up in Olympic history.

They will face Spanish duo Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual, who ended Chinese hopes of a second successive doubles gold by beating Yan Zi and Zheng Jie 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).


{July 7, 2008}   Wimbledon 2008 finals

Roger Federer eased into the second round of the French Open with a 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory over American Sam Querrey.

Querrey provided the world number one with a decent workout, but Federer was always in control and next faces Albert Montanes or Kristof Vliegen.

“It’s always difficult in the first round at Grand Slams,” said Federer. “I’m relieved and looking forward to the second round.”

Marcos Baghdatis, the 17th seed, lost 6-2 6-4 6-2 to Simone Bolelli of Italy.

“That’s the way it is, that’s tennis,” said Baghdatis, who has just returned to action following a month off for personal reasons.

“He played better than I did today.”

Tommy Robredo, the 12th seeded, rallied to beat former finalist Guillermo Coria 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-4.

Coria was playing his first Grand Slam match for nearly two years after back and shoulder injuries.

“I thought about retirement,” said the former world number three. “A month ago I didn’t think I would play here but Roland Garros means a lot to me. It’s like another home.

“In the last three weeks the situation has changed and I’m eager to be back on tour.”

Eleventh seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic made an almost perfect start as he thrashed Australian Robert Smeets 6-1 6-0 6-0.

Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, the number 24 seed, was another comfortable winner, crushing Uraguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3 6-3 6-1.

But Guillermo Canas – three-times a quarter-finalist at Roland Garros – suffered a surprise 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (8-6) defeat by American wildcard Wayne Odesnik


et cetera