- Ravi Ubha, Tennis
- 0 Shares
Emotions at the Olympic tennis event reached a crescendo on Friday, the day when wins assured most competitors of a medal.
There were tears for Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray and David Ferrer flung their rackets in disgust, and Roger Federer, perhaps in an effort to release tension, let out a rare smile following a mishit in his marathon outing with del Potro. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra rolled around the court like kids wrestling after they edged Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez in doubles.
Only one final, the mixed, wasn't a straight-sets affair, but Murray's triumph in front of a roaring home crowd and Serena Williams' brilliance in completing the career Golden Slam were sights to behold.
Yes, the Olympics at Wimbledon lived up to the hype.
Over in a flash, we look back at the tournament and eagerly await 2016, when the vibe will be different in Rio.
Men's MVP: Andy Murray
When Murray lost the Wimbledon final to Federer, he almost immediately set out to nab gold at the Olympics.
He did, and downing Federer and Novak Djokovic in the same tournament will give Murray more confidence than ever as he attempts to finally end his Grand Slam drought, even if the Swiss and Serb weren't in top form. That shouldn't be forgotten.
Murray managed inexperienced teen Laura Robson wonderfully, too, as they reached the gold-medal match in mixed doubles.
Not many in and around tennis will say they weren't pleased that Murray, a fine ambassador for the game, won gold in singles.
Women's MVP: Serena Williams
No one came close to stopping Williams.
Williams played with a focus and determination that sometimes lacks, and never before has Williams been so sharp, and less erratic, from the baseline. The blustery conditions that surfaced for most of the week didn't affect Williams' game one bit.
Off the grass, can Williams carry the form into Flushing Meadows?
And if Serena wasn't dominant enough in singles, she teamed with Venus to win, yes, another gold. Entering the Olympics, the Williams sisters held a 38-2 record in women's doubles at the All England Club. They were, unquestionably, the strongest favorites in any of the five tennis events at the Games.
Serena and Venus came through: They did not drop a set and were not taken to a tiebreaker. To boot, they surrendered serve in only one match -- in the second round against Germans Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki -- to nab a third gold medal as a team.
Most disappointing men's player: Novak Djokovic
Uh, oh. These are worrying times for Djokovic.
Djokovic turned his career around when he represented Serbia in the Davis Cup in 2010, and playing for his country at the Olympics was supposed to reinvigorate him in 2012.
Instead, Djokovic was inconsistent throughout. He toiled against clay-court specialist Fabio Fognini, crushed Andy Roddick, mostly struggled against Lleyton Hewitt and was fortunate to get a tired Tsonga in the quarterfinals.
In his semifinal against Murray, Djokovic led countless times in Murray's service games, but was unable to break. His decision-making was questionable, and when he got the shot he wanted, he'd often miss. Bad errors.
He'll be happy that hard courts are on the way.
Most disappointing women's player: Petra Kvitova
The draw opened up nicely for Kvitova. She had to beat Maria Kirilenko for a spot in the semifinals against Sharapova.
Kirilenko reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last month, but Kvitova was last year's Wimbledon champion and overpowered the Russian in their past two meetings.
So what happens? Kirilenko plays clean and Kvitova implodes, again, to lose in straight sets.
Kvitova, based on her results for most of this year, hasn't coped with being the hunted. The Czech has traditionally struggled on North American hard courts, so a change in fortune is unlikely until the European indoor swing.
Best match: Roger Federer versus Juan Martin del Potro
The result, a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17 win for Federer in the longest best-of-three singles match in Olympic history, coupled with what was at stake, made for one of the most dramatic matches on Wimbledon's fabled Centre Court.
With the win, Federer, in his fourth Olympics, was guaranteed a first medal in singles; for del Potro, his agony against Federer and the big four continued.
When Federer tried to serve it out at 10-9 in the third, his nerves were there for all to see. He was broken at love.
But Federer recovered and escaped further danger by landing first serves when in trouble. Del Potro eventually cracked and left the court weeping.
He was crying again two days later, in joy, when defeating Djokovic for the bronze medal. Not since 2009, when the wrist wasn't an issue, had del Potro beaten any of the big four, excluding retirements.
Top ironman: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
By tournament's end, Tsonga had a silver medal in doubles. He deserved something for all the miles he put in.
First there was his 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 four-hour win against Milos Raonic in the second round, in which the Canadian went a mere 1-for-8 on break points. (Tsonga went 2-for-5.) Tsonga came back the next day and advanced in singles, sweeping past Lopez, and doubles.
Then on Friday in the semifinals, Tsonga and Llodra saved four match points to beat Ferrer and Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 18-16 in 3½ hours.
Tsonga and Llodra were undone by the Bryan brothers -- who won a maiden doubles gold -- in the final.
Sorest loser: Caroline Wozniacki
Everyone liked the Olympics at Wimbledon, right?
Not Wozniacki. Here's what the Dane said after losing to Williams.
"Olympics is always a very special tournament," she said. "You know, I think it's too bad that the site was so far from the Olympic village. Also I think it would have been fair for everyone -- I'm saying I like to play on grass -- to play on a hard court. It would have equaled it out a little bit."
Like in 2008 at the Olympics (on a hard court in Beijing), Wozniacki fell to the eventual champion.