Olympics Round 1: Federer def Falla 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

Hi there Internet family. I could not watch this match and won’t be able to watch any of the Olympics due to time difference and work responsibilities. Also there probably won’t be any highlights on youtube as the BBC is clamping down hard on copyright. I’m not too destroyed about it. As long as I can watch the North American hard court season and especially the US Open I’d be a happy camper. This week I was still very busy and didn’t have time to make a post about the draw yet. You can see the draw here . Roger’s draw looks pretty damn good.

Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, and Berdych are all in the bottom half, and of course Nadal isn’t playing. I mean he couldn’t have asked for a much better draw. Today against Fella it wasn’t all smooth sailing though. Falla almost beat Roger in the first round at Wimbledon 2010 so we know he can be dangerous. But I would have never expected that he could beat Roger at the Olympics after the year Roger has been having. So things pretty much turned out as expected. From what I hear Roger was up 5-3 and 40-0 on the Falla serve in the second set, but failed to take his three match points.

He then proceeded to lose serve when serving for the match at 5-4, and at 5-5 he was up 40-0 on the Falla serve once more, but could not break. So clearly there was a big slump in his concentration during that period. That doesn’t concern me however. It is just the first round and Roger must have thought he had the match won at 5-3. He ended up staying out there longer than he needed to, but I’m fine with it as long as he got the win. We have seen this kind of thing happen in the latter part of Roger’s career, but the important thing is that in 2012 he doesn’t lose those matches.

So all in all I’m happy with his performance, even though I didn’t get to watch. Playing a three set match in the first round and spending some time out there may not be a bad thing. We know Roger plays well after a match like this. I think in the next round against Benneteau he gets the job done in straight sets. I don’t expect this match to be anything like that close encounter they had at Wimbledon. Probably JesusFed will show up and destroy Benneteau in straight sets, just to make it clear that he was far from his best against Benneteau at Wimbledon. Once again I have a good feeling for Roger about the Olympics.

The draw has gone his way and he will feel very confident playing on the stage where he just won his 17th slam. It seems the stars has once again aligned for Roger to win this title. The fact that this is three set format makes things a bit more tricky, but I think he wins it anyway. I guess someone like Isner could make it tricky for him over a three set format when he plays out of his mind. We will just have to see. But his toughest match will probably in the final. Before that there isn’t really anyone who should cause him any major problems. It will be interesting to see who he faces in the final if he gets that far.

Will it be Murray again? Or is Murray gonna slump again after the Wimby final? Will it be Djokovic? Or does he not want another beating at the hands of the GOAT after Wimby? It may even be Tsonga. Berdych already lost today against Darcis. I kinda hope it’s Djokovic in the final and Roger beats him again. That would really be the ideal scenario after Roger took three losses in a row to Djokovic at the US Open, Rome, and French Open. How important is it for Roger to win the Olympics? As far as I’m concerned not very important since he already has Olympic gold, and guys like Massu and Rosset has won the Olympics.

But it would make his resume just that little bit more rounded.

Posted in Uncategorized.

48 Comments

  1. I think all of these questions on who he will face in the final are very good questions. It really can be anyone, in my opinion. Murray’s not consistent but can cause damage if he can get himself to the final, there are some good players getting by under the radar (Tsonga, Isner, etc) – and I’d even include Djokovic in this batch that are quietly cruising. I really don’t think we should forget that he beat Nadal in that epic almost 6 hour final earlier this year, and even though he has only defended two titles, he has gone deep into tournaments and always poses as a major threat.

    I really like Federer’s chances in the Olympics this year, and it would definitely be a major title to add to his already sparkling resume, but in order to achieve this, he can’t lose his focus like he did today. Of course I believe that Roger can get himself out of this rut easily, it’s the best 3 sets which everyone can agree are pretty tricky matches. One prime example is when Fed lost to Roddick in Miami this year, all because of little errors. And it was really the same scenario as this one – came off from winning a big title (though not as big as Wimby) and then got distracted and lost to a player who is talented but not having the best year of his year as he has started to slump with his traditional game.

    But other than all of this, we know that if Roger just takes the ball early, keeps the points short, and keeps a tight hold on his focus, we’ll all have something to celebrate in a few days! (By the way… I love Roger’s Swiss polo… the zipper v-neck is a nice touch!)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Kelsey. Where are all my readers?!

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    Kelsey Reply:

    LOL! I was thinking the same thing! I actually read your blog originally on my phone and then I saw that there were no comments. I was like, am I really going to be the first one to comment here?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha well thanks for the comment Kelsey. I guess it’s just me and you over here ;-)

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    Kelsey Reply:

    You can always count on me to leave a comment on your blog, Ru-an!

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  2. Ruan, all I can say is that you were lucky you weren’t watching. To see Roger lose 4 games on the trot (and the set) after a cluster of matchpoints, is enough to bring on a bunch of haemorrhoids. All Roger has to do is virtually shake Falla’s hand. The Columbian is one of those annoying players who pulls out his best shots when the game is over – or should be. (I also wonder how it is that the Falla is now far and away playing his best tennis as he nears 30, compared to his relatively poor peformances in his early to mid twenties, when I recall he was very easy meat for Roger when they first met at Wimbledon. I was very surprised at his showing in 2010, when he took Roger to 5. It’s a career trajectory of more than a few players on the tour these days, to peak as they hit 30, after having done nothing in their prime years of the twenties.)

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  3. Good post. I started watching in the 2nd set as Federer was up 0-40 at 4-5 to take the match. Then he became extremely passive, and the same happened at 5-5 with Falla serving, another 0-40 went.

    After being too passive, it seemed he lost patience and started to go for too much and errors started to flow. He was also broken back in the 3rd set and his 1st serve percentage was not great in the last two sets and Falla played well too it has to be said.

    One thing I have been really impressed with in his recent great form is his recommitment to being patient. On grass this suits him well because he can just slice and slice away until the opening comes. I thought he was masterful in being patient vs Djokovic and Murray. So I hope he sticks to that.

    I hope he puts a stamp down on Benneteau tomorrow, but Benneteau is a tough veteran and he has that great backhand, hard to read if he’s going to go cross court or down the line.

    Best on 3 on grass is full of surpirses…Djokovic and Tsonga both dropped first sets in tiebreaks. Murray sailed…

    Do people think playing doubles as well would tire out Fed? (just a few mph off a serve can make a big difference).

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  4. Actually, I think Olympic Gold for Roger is fairly important, Ruan. He has such a slim lead over the Serb in the rankings. Should he lose before the Djoker bows out, he will fall to # 2 right away. A gold medal for Roger would consolidate his #1 position, increasing his distance over the Serb. This would be like a double hammer blow to Novak’s confidence, and it would greatly enhance Roger’s chances of remaining at the top through the new year, which would tie Sampras’ year-end number one mark. Now wouldn’t that be sweet? Should this occur, the Maestro would then hold every significant record in men’s tennis, save for the Grand Slam. Impossible as it may seem, could the King be setting that exalted goal for himself in 2013?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I was strictly referring to the importance of the OG itself Balthazar. But I didn’t actually think of the ranking points. So yes in that sense it’s pretty important.

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    Katarina_YYZ Reply:

    Balthazar, you are wrong. Djokovic won the Canadian masters tournament last year. He was a finalist in Cincinnati and won US Open. Except for Cincy he has nowhere to gain points and lots of chances to lose points. Federer lost R16 in Canada and QF in Cincy. He can gain a lot. Even if Novak passes Roger after the Olympics, it would likely still go back and forth between ND and Roger a few times in the next 2 months.

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  5. There is one scenario where Fed can go out before Nole and keep the #1. If he goes out to Benneteau and Nole loses in the 3rd, he’ll stay #1. Or if he goes out in the 3rd and Nole goes out in the quarters. But I can’t see him going out until the final now, and he’ll have great confidence against either Djokovic or Murray after having beaten them both at Wimbledon in best of 5.
    Falla is a tricky opponent but now that he has the first match under his belt he should be better off in the next few rounds. Remember, he had a physically and emotionally draining fortnight at Wimbledon, plus 3 weeks off from active competition. He was a little shell shocked after Falla stormed back, but he regrouped nicely as he has so often in deciding sets this year.

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    Alex Reply:

    Sorry, but this is a confusing post for me. Do the olympics actually affect the rankings in tennis?

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    Alex Reply:

    ok i googled it, apparently they do. 750 points for gold medal

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  6. “How important is it for Roger to win the Olympics? As far as I’m concerned not very important since he already has Olympic gold…” Well, I disagree here. Roger has made it very clear that this was one of his highest priorities, and winning it would be very, very special for him. This is for him about representing his home country at the Games; it’s not about him adding to his number of titles. If he wins this, you can be sure to see many tears from him. If he loses it, he might as well be torn apart and cry. This is very, very emotional to him. He has been a fine Swiss Ambassador to the World, and while he will never claim that his country is the greatest country of the world (which to me seems an amazingly ignorant and arrogant claim for anybody to make), he would thoroughly enjoy winning Gold for Switzerland.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair enough Chris. I guess I didn’t look at it that way. I’m sure he will very much enjoy winning gold for his country, but I don’t know how important it is to have on his resume. It’s not historically a very prestigious event.

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  7. Was watching his match against Benneteau and one of the commentators said something like, “Olympic gold in singles is the only thing missing from Roger’s resume”. So I guess that winning gold in the Olympics is important not only for the reason Chris mentioned but also that it would have been annoying that when writing Roger’s history, he were to get a footnote like that.

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  8. Federer’s past Isner (always a dangerous opponent) and into the medal rounds where he will meet Del Potro, who is also very dangerous. A little luck on match point, but a solid match overall.

    Unfortunately he and Wawrinka are out of the doubles, so Switzerland’s best hopes at a medal now rest on Federer’s shoulders.

    For once, there have been no huge upsets in Olympic tennis. Three of the top four are in the semis and Del Potro (a top ten player) makes up the fourth man. As everywhere else, the top players are showing remarkable consistency by going deep in the tournament.

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  9. I witnessed one INCREDIBLE match that will live in my memory for a long, long time. After watching it and seeing Roger pull out another emotional victory in his illustrious career, I can’t help but realize in what memorable times we live in.

    For every gut-wrenching loss, there are moments like these. Roger is through and will have a Golden chance to complete the Golden Slam. Simply amazing!

    Allez Roger!!!

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    Chris Reply:

    Vily, how on earth did he still win this one? Delpo was unplayable, painting the lines, absolutely outstanding!!! But Fed just did not go away. He did not blink in the wrong moment. What kind of self-belief does it take to serve I don’t know how many times to stay in the match, waiting for the moment to hit. And when you just horribly missed your chance, to hang in there and wait for the next chance. I’m flabbergasted! How cruel for Delpo! What else does it take??? Another one I feel sorry for! And being Swiss, finally a medal! Go Roger, make it a golden one!

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    muhammad Reply:

    It was nerve wrecking for us,how hard it must have been for the maestro!The magic of roger federer just refuses to lose its charm!I’m pretty sure its gold this time for the swiss genius!Lets hope for the best!

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  10. Fed keeping his composure after getting broken at 10-9 when serving for the match shows us Roger 3.0. In 2010 and 2011, he would have wilted after blowing that lead (USO rings a bell?). What a warrior out there on the tennis court! I believe “floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee” is appropriate right here.

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  11. This really should have been the final. It’s practically anticlimactic that another match has to be played to determine who comes away with Olympic gold.

    What a magnificent demonstration of his fierce heart and his unquenchable will to win! He wasn’t even able to break Del Potro until 9-all in the third set, and then when he blew that hard-won opportunity to serve for it he didn’t falter, but kept at it, until finally he created and seized another chance to finish it.

    In Del Potro he faced an opponent who was just as gallant a competitor and just as determined to prevail. He must be totally gutted after giving his all for so long and still coming away in second place–that’s probably the best grass-court tennis he’s ever produced in his entire career and it still wasn’t enough. I feel badly for him; this is one of those matches where you wish there could be two winners.

    When Federer smiled ruefully after mishitting several forehands late in the third set, I was glad that he was still able to laugh at himself, despite the intensity and magnitude of the titanic contest in which he was totally engaged. He was still able to enjoy the situation and I think that’s one of the key reasons he won.

    A light heart in the midst of the most dire perils–that is Roger Federer.

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  12. Guys,

    I don’t know what to think of the upcoming final. The fact that Murray made it to the final worries me. Roger has won SO MUCH. He’ll get to keep his Number 1 Ranking and he just escaped death yet again to reach the Final. Luck should surely be running out!

    Murray deserves to get a win and it will be extremely difficult to stop him! I still want Roger to win and it would be absolutely amazing. It just boggles the mind how other amazing athletes such as Michael Phelps can swim for less than a minute and win a Gold Medal while Federer has to fight for hours and hours just to get to the Final.

    Go Roger! Whatever happens, we’ll still love you! You’ve won everything. It will be OK either way!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey guys, very busy and stressful time at work. Hope you are enjoying the Olympics. Roger will win the final again, I think in 4 again. Tired schmired. He has a day to rest and it was best out of 3 so far. Nice to see Murray beat Djokovic and not slumping again.

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    Chris Reply:

    Living the American Dream, eh? I hope both you and Rog are having golden times ahead?

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    Dave Reply:

    Ruan, I’m missing your write ups. Hope you can share some insight after the final on Sunday. Is there anywhere we can all chat on here before and during the final?

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  13. I kept checking my android phone to see if Federer had won, and I was feeling like no one cared about tennis, so they were taking their time to report it, and then around lunch time, I got a fantastic surprise. So there really was a reason I couldn’t find the information. 19-17 in the 3rd set? Wow!!!! Delpo played the match of his life to break back, and almost win the thing. From what I read, Federers press conference was even larger than Phelps. It just goes to show he is much bigger in sport than we can possibly imagine, since it’s worldwide, and not just in a country.

    What stinks, is I taped it, and already watched the thing in about an hour, rather than a 4 hour plus match, cause I fast forwarded quite a bit. The thing that stinks is that I started watching Djoker and Murray, and the DVR was timed to end at 3 PM est. Needless to say, it was 3-3 in the 2nd set, and no more tennis. I really enjoyed hearing and seeing the British crowd support Murray. Can’t find the finish anywhere, but I’m sure it was priceless for Murray. That being said,,,,,GO FED!!!! G

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  14. Winning his first big title in front of his home crowd, for his nation – that has treated him so lousily for choking in many previous occasions – and in the process taking revenge for the heartbreaking loss he took from Federer only 4 weeks ago on the same court: you got to feel happy for Andy Murray! And congratulations to him for playing an incredibly high standard throughout the match, defending all 9 break points from Federer and not showing any signs of nerves when serving out for the match. A well deserved gold metal goes to a man who has gone through hard times to finally reach the top and be celebrated by his crowd!
    And for Federer, where the heck has he been in this match? So many unforced errors, so few first serves in, so few winners!!! Maybe he was tired from the Delpo match, both physically and mentally? If so, then maybe it’s a comforting sign for those who are suspicious of this sport. Since there are other players that play such matches and then just come back on court and run for another 5 hours without any signs of slowing down. Until the knees break again, of course. At least, he got a silver medal to remember these games, not a shame either, and he’ll stay hungry for another four years, unlike Serena who just announced that she has now won everything and can start to prepare for a life after tennis…

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  15. Congratulations to Andy Murray, Olympic gold medal champion.

    Well, it was an anticlimax, as I said. After playing for five straight days (not something he does in the Masters or Grand Slams), including the 19-17 marathon set against Del Potro–the equivalent of three 7-5 sets–one couldn’t expect Federer to have too much left in the tank, even after a day off, as Vily suggested.

    Murray is a great player, it takes a great performance to beat him and Federer couldn’t come up with the goods.

    Now he’s got slightly more motivation to keep on until the Olympics in Rio in 2016. Hopefully he will get one more shot to win gold for Switzerland. For now, he’s won them a silver to go with the doubles gold he and Wawrinka got in Beijing.

    Nicola Spirig won gold for Switzerland in the women’s triathalon, so at least they will have one gold medal.

    I’m very proud that he fought like a lion to get past Del Potro even though he knew it would affect his chances in the final. He gave his all (and more than his all) to prevail. That’s all we can ask.

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    Vily Reply:

    Murray won, as I expected. Congratulations to him. Roger was mentally exhausted after that epic semifinal and he couldn’t will himself to victory again. The game at 2:0 in the second set was the turning point. If Roger had broken, you never know. But I remember a similar game in the Wimbledon Final where Roger did eventually break and he won the match. But luck ran out.

    Now, there will always be those sore losers who will start and try to say how Roger never won a Golden Slam and all that non-sense. Sure, it would have been sweet. But winning Wimbledon and getting back to number 1 was even sweeter. Roger Federer will always be The Greatest and nobody can touch him. In a way, you could say that he let Murray win this one just he let Del Potro win the US Open 3 years ago.

    The Olympics may be over for Roger but nobody will ever forget what Federer has done for the history of the sport.

    And that is what he will be remembered for – the gracious amazing Grand Slam Champion who changed Tennis forever!

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    jason Reply:

    Well, his trophies are now complete. He has won Olympic gold medal previously, now he’s won silver… so it’s complete in a sense. Or he can add a bronze from the Rio Olympics in 2016. Maybe not, it’s too ugly.

    Joking aside, he looked tame yesterday. Converting 0 out of 9 break points is one of the telltale signs. 0 out of 8 in the first set, if I remember correctly. The 8 BP’s were way more than Murray’s. But Murray converted 2 of them.

    During the interview, he did admit some mental exhaustion due to the Delpo match.

    But to me personally, in tennis gold medal is worth quite a bit less than GS titles. Few remembers tennis players for Olympic golds. Who remembers Nicolas Massu these days? What about Marc Rosset? Kafelnikov? Well, we remember the latter because he was once no.1 (very brief stint) and won 2 GS. So, we remember a tennis player for their Olympic gold ONLY IF they have won the GS. If they don’t win the Olympic gold, one can still address a player as the greatest if he has won numerous GS (e.g. Sampras).

    It’s also arguable if it is higher than Masters Series (look at the point gains). What’s more important is that he stays consistent and ready for the USO.

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  16. Looking ahead Guys – nothing is as bad as it seems. Roger will get to keep his Number 1 Ranking through the end of the US Open at least.

    After the Olympics, Roger will add 450 points to his total so he will be at 11,525 pts.

    Djokovic will only add 270 points for his 4th place finish so he will be at 11,270 pts.

    Nadal will stay at 8,905 pts.

    Finally, Murray will add 750 points and he he will be at 8,210 pts.

    The better news is that since Roger and Nadal are pulling out of Rogers Cup (Roger deserves a rest to reboot), the rankings will reflect the following:

    1. Roger Federer – 11,525 – 90 pts = 11,435 pts
    2. Novak Djokovic – 11,270 pts. – can only stay the same if he defends his title or will lose points
    3. Rafael Nadal – 8,905 – 10 pts = 8,895 pts.
    4. Andy Murray – 8,210 pts – needs to defend only 10 points so if he actually wins the title, then he’ll overtake Nadal for Number 3 in the World.

    Looking ahead to Cincinatty – Roger needs to defend only 180 points while Djokovic needs to defend 600 points and Murray – 1000 points, respectively.

    Finally at the US Open – Roger needs to defend 720 pts while Djokovic needs to defend 2000 points and Nadal – 1200 points.

    So, all is looking good. If Roger can get over this loss quickly and get to Cincy and try to prepare for the US Open in the best possible way, all will be there for him.

    Plus, then he can add Shanghai to his program and he will be able to add some points there. So if he can stay at the Top until the the end of OCtober and increase his lead, he will insure the YEar-End Number 1 and the Olympics will be just a Blur.

    So, I believe in Roger and I belive he will bounce back from this in a hurry. In the mean time, I think that Murray has a real shot at making Number 3 in the World while Nadal and Djokovic will continue to lick their wounds.

    Allez Roger!

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  17. Thanks for the info on the ranking numbers. Roger pulled out of Toronto even before the gold medal final. Hmmm. I guess he knew he was out of gas after the Delpo match.
    Well, we have to be proud of him. A silver medal on the eve of his 31st birthday. I must admit, I am disappointed for him to have not got the gold for Switzerland. Try as he might, he just had no energy to beat a motivated Murray. I have a feeling he is exhausted. Hopefully, he can recover enough for Cincy. And congratulations go to Murray and Delpo.

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  18. I don’t think I have seen a more one-sided final since – well, the women’s final the night before! The last time I saw Roger pummelled like that was his loss to Nadal in the ’08 French Open final. Sadly, like others here, I think Roger played his “final” in his extraordinary defeat of Del Potro in their semi. Murray, meanwhile, played lights-out tennis of the kind I have never seen him play before – and is in danger of reinventing himself as power player, reminiscent of the rise of Djokovic in 2011. His pace and accuracy from impossible positions was incredible. Murray “3.0” emergent? After watching so many of his floundering defeats over the last year (including an early exit from Queens only a few weeks ago) it was an eyebrow-raising performance, and reminded me of the boggling feats last week of a certain Chinese swimmer. But this is the Olympics. (Or the line from a Polanski movie: “Forget it, Jake – this Chinatown.” Nothing is as it appears.)

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  19. Congrats to Murray and Hadr luck for federer who was simply exhausted both physically and mentally after that Delpo match who as you all already know has got BRonze for Djokovic by defeating him in straights.Now Whats the matter with Djokovic?lol.Its the rarest of rare things for Roger to play the longest 3 setter in the Open era,given his style of play and I would definitely like to know when was the last time he went to a 5th hour in a match(probably wimby 08??).So this is a very good showing from the swiss who fior the sake of Fed haters, has 2 medals in the olympics one in doubles and one in singles which Nadal doesn’t have hhahahahaah.I still think that Roger,Murray and Djokovic are the joint favourites for the OPEN with Rafa (far) behind.I smply laugh at Nadal fans aka Fed haters who seem to stupify whatever title that fed has not won and which nadal has won to something GOD like status.For goodness sake,what the hell has Nadal been doing all these years at the WTF??he has been pummelled by Fed the last two years i am sure the same will happen this time(oh i am sorry the knees were hurting aaahhoooooooouuuuuuuuouch).Its is 1500 points damn it and the Olympics is half of that.and fed has 6 wtf titles and nadal has a huge ZERO.So even the atp considers the wtf to be more imp than the olympics so why the hell are u guys are saying ohhh nadal one singles gold medal and fed didnt blah balh blah??let him win atleast one wtf and then speak all your rubbish once again.
    PS:Important dialogue of fed haters
    Fed is the father of twins,
    But Nadal has 18-10 h2h over federer
    SO he is the GOAT.
    roflmao

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    V Reply:

    Bronze from* Djokovic

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    emy Reply:

    dude what are you on?

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  20. OK Roger lost and got the Silver. Not too hurt and upset though, he still has a silver and won it with a 4 hour match. I guess he was too exhausted already, after all he is nearly 31. Well that means a gold and silver in the cupboard, which is also nice!

    Roger needs a rest, nice move to skip Montreal. The one-sided final proved that he needs it. Roger will hold onto No.1 guaranteed so it’s OK.

    Let’s just hope for the best at the USO!

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  21. After what RF has achieved the past few weeks, an olympic silver is good enough for me. I’m so proud and happy for Roger. I could not ask for more. Oh, I just wish for him to stay healthy, motivated and win matches especially when a lot is on the line.

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  22. “Andy was simply better today. I can choose to accept this within five minutes or five years. I chose five minutes,” says a smiling and celebrating Federer. Class act! http://www.blick.ch/sport/olympia/london2012/die-zwillinge-lieben-seine-silber-medaille-id1988320.html

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    Jiten Reply:

    It also says that: The personal “Olympic Gold” Federer has already: 2000 in Sydney, he met his present wife Mirka know and love.

    In fact for the silver daddy, the two lovely little daughters are more precious than the Gold (medal). And the saga started in Olympics only.

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  23. so everytime someone beats federer in an important match, people are going to accuse him/them of doping?

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    rich Reply:

    Nope. Dopers also lose.

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