Posted tagged ‘US Tennis’

James Blake Rips Opponent Following Olympic Tennis Loss

August 15, 2008

After an impressive upset of Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, James Blake fell to Fernando Gonzalez in today’s Olympic Semifinal in Beijing. But the loss was not the story which came out of the match. It seems that Blake doesn’t believe that his opponent played fair and was very visibly upset with the outcome.

From the Associated Press:

Blake came up one shot short Friday, losing in the semifinal to Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 4-6, 7-5, 11-9. Afterward he accused Gonzalez of failing to fess up on a disputed point two games before the finish.

“I’ve spoken all week about how much I’ve enjoyed the Olympic experience, how much I love the spirit of it,” Blake said. “That’s a disappointing way to exit the tournament, when you not only lose the match, but you lose a little faith in your fellow competitor.”

Actually, the No. 8-seeded Blake remains in the tournament. A first-time Olympian at 28, he’ll play for a bronze Saturday as the last hope for a U.S. medal in men’s or women’s singles.

The incident that upset Blake occurred with Gonzalez serving at 8-9 in the final set. On the first point, Blake hit a backhand passing shot long but contended the ball ticked Gonzalez’s racket before landing, as TV replays confirmed.

Blake appealed in vain to the chair umpire, and said Gonzalez should have conceded the point. Blake went on to lose the game to make it 9-all.

Blake described Gonzalez as a great player who does everything in his power to win, “usually” within the rules.

Gonzalez will play in Sunday’s final against favorite Rafael Nadal, who clinched his first Olympic medal today by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

Blake and Gonzalez played the their match on center court and from the beginning, there appeared to be tension between the players. In the second set, Gonzalez slammed an easy forehand at his opponent’s head from point-blank range. Those in attendance stated that Blake glared at Gonzalez, who quickly apologized.

Hard to say what actually happened on the court today but it’s unfortunate that Blake may be remembered for this, rather than the tremendous run he had in the tournament and his upset of Federer. Time will tell how this plays out in the coming days. Thoughts?