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Bite-sized highlights from day 7 at the Olympic tennis

Andy Murray roars to the heavens
by Alexandra Willis
Friday 3 August 2012

Cometh the hour

For Andy Murray. The Scot has guaranteed himself either an Olympic gold or Olympic silver medal, disposing of Novak Djokovic in clinically focused fashion to set up a re-match with Roger Federer on Centre Court. It’s a wonder that Centre Court didn’t split at the seams, so loud were the crowd.

The Centre Court crowd didn’t bank on that

A three+ hour match to start the day as Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro went right down to the wire in the first of the men’s semi-finals.

It was a record-breaker, too, breaking the record for the longest three-set men’s singles match of the Open era, topping the four hours and three minutes of the Djokovic v Nadal match at Madrid in 2009.

Federer finally converted on his second match point, after four hours and 26 minutes, winning 3-6, 7-6, 19-17 to reach his first Olympic singles final.

Be it ultimately gold or silver, he also secured Switzerland’s first medal of London 2012.

Taking considerably less time

Maria Sharapova. The Russian wheeled through her semi-final against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 6-3 to put herself one win from gold.

Taking even less time

Serena Williams, who had been forced to sit around for four hours and 26 minutes, saw off Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2 in the most clinical fashion to reach her first Olympic singles final. She finished with a second serve ace, naturally.

The upset

Lucie Hradecka put the disappointment of losing her opening mixed doubles match with Radek Stepanek against the British duo of Laura Robson and Andy Murray behind her to combine with Andrea Hlavackova and knock out the top seeds, Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber in the women’s doubles semi-finals, 6-1, 7-6(2).

They need to wait to find out whether they’ll play the Williams sisters for a chance at Wimbledon revenge, or Russians Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko after the second semi-final was suspended overnight.

On course for gold

The Bryan brothers are one win away from completing a golden career Grand Slam, breezing through against Julian Benneteau and Richard Gasquet in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

But if they are going to do it, they’ll have to out-last marathon men Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, who downed David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 18-16 in another extraordinary marathon match in this Olympic tennis event.

And in the mixed

It seems funny that the mixed is already in the semi-finals, but then, the draw did begin at the round of 16. Germans Christopher Kas and Sabine Lisicki made the most of their upset of the second seeds yesterday by following up with a 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-7 win over Italy’s Roberta Vinci and Daniele Bracciali to reach the last four.

Juan Martin Del Potro and Gisela Dulko were ousted 2-6, 5-7 by third seeds and Wimbledon champs Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan, while Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi lead Sania Mirza and Leander Paes by a set before light suspended play.

The other mixed match of the day, between Laura Robson and Andy Murray against Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur didn’t make it on court.

Famous faces

Two well-known Americans were in the crowd on Centre Court… Microsoft guru Bill Gates, and NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant. 

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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