Swiss Doubles Team Out
Roger Federer and countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, who won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in men’s doubles, will not repeat in 2012. The pair are no longer in competition for a repeat medal at the London Games.
The Swiss were dismissed on Wednesday, August 1 by the team of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel. The second-round match went the distance in one hour and 39 minutes.
The setting was Court 18, where the two teams played all-out for three sets.
The Swiss team sought to advance to the quarterfinals with a win. In fact, Federer and Wawrinka hoped to repeat their magic gold-medal run of 2008.
The Israeli pair of Erlich and Ram teamed to win the Australian Open Championship in doubles in 2008. In 2004, the pair represented Israel during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where they reached the quarterfinals.
In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, the Israeli pair were seeded No. 3 in doubles. They lost, however, in the first round to the French team of Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-4.
On Wednesday, Federer and Wawrinka took the first set 6-1 in 28 minutes. It looked like the Swiss pair would breeze through the match. That obviously did not happen.
In the second set, as Erlich and Ram calmed down and began communicating, the two teams played to a draw. The second set ended with a tiebreaker.
The Swiss team broke the Israeli team’s serve three times in the opening set. Erlich and Ram seemed shell-shocked. But after the Israelis crashed out in the opening set, Federer and Wawrinka never saw another break point opportunity.
Ram and Erlich squeezed out an advantage in the tiebreak, closing it out at 7-5. Then they went on to break the Swiss team once in the third set. That was enough to win the match 1-6, 7-6, 6-3.
The Swiss team won more games (15-14), more points (92-90) and had more aces (8-2), but they ultimately lost the match with one break of serve. It was very close.
Close or not, the dream run of the Swiss doubles team came to an end on Court 18.
Venus Williams Eliminated
Venus Williams also came very close to winning her third-round encounter against German Angelique Kerber on Wednesday in women’s singles competition.
Venus lost 6-7, 6-7, as the match came down to two tiebreakers. Regardless, she had ample chances to win the match against the No. 7 seed.
Williams battled hard, giving herself multiple opportunities to win. For example, serving for the first set, Williams could not close it out, letting three match points leak away. That allowed Kerber to regroup in time for the tiebreak.
In the first tiebreak, Venus held a 5-1 advantage—then lost the next six points to lose the opening set.
It had to be very disappointing for Venus after working so hard to find her game.
In the second set, Venus’ game again ebbed and flowed depending on the quality of her first serve. Going up 3-1 in the second set, Venus had to watch as Kerber clawed her way back into the set, capitalizing on the elder Williams sister's ineffective second serve.
Kerber has risen dramatically in the rankings during the past year. She reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in July and has proven the strength of her game on grass.
The German will now advance to play the No. 1 seed Victoria Azarenka.
Venus Williams is still alive in doubles and retains hope of winning her fourth Olympic gold medal if she and Serena can duplicated their feat—winning the gold medal in women’s doubles.
Hopefully the sisters will not find themselves out of the hunt in doubles like their counterparts of 2008—the Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.
The action continues hot and heavy tomorrow at the All England Club as Day 6 gets underway.