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Bite-sized highlights from day 4 at the Olympic tennis

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga competing against Milos Raonic
by Alexandra Willis
Tuesday 31 July 2012

Record-breakers

Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchman and Canadian were rain-interrupted at one-set all, before returning to go neck and neck in the third. On and on they trundled. Tsonga had a match point at 16-15 in the 3rd set, and another at 21-20. But Raonic saved both with unreturnable serves. Tsonga would have to wait four more games before having another go, once again he was thwarted, before finally converting on his fourth match point in a point where he fell over, got up, and somehow won it.

The match broke the Olympics records for both most number of games in a three-set match (66), and most number of games in a set (48).

But how long will the record stand? Berdych/Stepanek vs. Soares/Melo were suspended at 18-18 in their third set, and will be back tomorrow.

Murray marches on

Andy Murray  was asked if he was ‘scared’ to face Finland’s No.1, Jarkko Nieminen this afternoon, to which Murray pulled a face that probably meant no. And he had no reason to be, breezing through in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

Credit to Nieminen though. He gave it his level best, at one moment even hurdling the side of the court in pursuit of a backhand drive volley from Murray.

So much for getting old

Venus Williams looked like a 10-years-younger version of herself as she breezed past Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Olympic tennis event. Venus, once a singles gold medallist and twice a doubles gold medallist, seems to be very much making the most of her last Olympics, watching the archery and other sports in her spare time.

She was followed into the golden oldie winning camp by Lleyton Hewitt, who upset Marin Cilic in three sets, the Australian making the most of what could be his last journey to SW19.

Wasting no time

Novak Djokovic. The 2011 Wimbledon champion looked far more assured than he had done during his first round match as he blistered past Andy Roddick for the loss of just three games. A humbling experience for the American, to be sure.

Digging deep

Sabine Lisicki. The Wimbledon quarter-finalist saved a match point against golden set girl Yaroslava Shvedova, coming from a set behind to win 4-6 6-3 7-5.

Best of British

Even though they lost, both Laura Robson and Heather Watson once again proved why it’s very exciting to think about what’s to come.

Other quick-fire wins

For David Ferrer over Blaz Kavcic, Victoria Azarenka over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Julia Goerges over Varvara Lepchenko, Angelique Kerber over Timea Babos, Marcos Baghdatis over Richard Gasquet, Feliciano Lopez over Juan Monaco.

In doubles

The Bryans, Benneateau/Gasquet, Makaraova/Vesnina, Errani/Vinci, Williams/Williams, Huber/Raymond, Berdych/Stepanek, Hlavackova/Hradecka, Pennetta/Schiavone, Tipsarevic/Zimonjic, all advanced.

Hello rain

It rained again.

Mixed Doubles draw announced…

Just 16 pairs in the first Mixed Doubles of the Olympics tennis since the Titanic survivors won way back in the 1920s, so a place in the draw was a hot ticket. The ones in bold are the ones to watch, we think.

Argentina                   Gisela Dulko / Juan Martin del Potro

Australia                    Samantha Stosur / Lleyton Hewitt (ITF Place)

Belarus                      Victoria Azarenka / Max Mirnyi

Czech Republic          Lucie Hradecka / Radek Stepanek

Germany                    Angelique Kerber / Philipp Petzschner; Sabine Lisicki / Christopher Kas

Great Britain               Laura Robson / Andy Murray (ITF Place)

India                          Sania Mirza / Leander Paes

Italy                           Roberta Vinci / Daniele Bracciali; Sara Errani / Andreas Seppi

Poland                       Agnieszka Radwanska / Marcin Matkowski

Russia                       Elena Vesnina / Mikhail Youzhny (ITF Place)

Serbia                        Ana Ivanovic / Nenad Zimonjic

Sweden                     Sofia Arvidsson / Robert Lindstedt (ITF Place)

USA                          Lisa Raymond / Mike Bryan, Liezel Huber / Bob Bryan

 

Alternates

 

1. Spain                     Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez / Marcel Granollers

2. Romania                Irina-Camelia Begu / Horia Tecau

3. Canada                  Aleksandra Wozniak / Daniel Nestor

4. Poland                   Klaudia Jans-Ignacik / Mariusz Fyrstenberg

 

Famous faces

Prince Albert of Monaco and Prince Frederik of Denmark


Happy Birthday to…

Victoria Azarenka,who turned 23, and Nick Bollettieri, who turned 81.


Best look of the day

Tsonga running around with his pockets turned inside out.

The London 2012 Olympic tennis is taking place at Wimbledon. Visit the ITF Olympics site for full scores, draws and the London 2012 site for video content, venue and schedule information.


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