American James Blake Stuns Roger Federer in Olympic Tennis

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IAugust 14, 2008

For the second straight Olympics, the world's No. 1 tennis player, Roger Federer, won't be winning a medal. In 2004, it was Czech Tomas Berdych who spelled doom for the Swiss superstar.

In 2008, American James Blake, the eighth-seeded player in the tournament, defeated Federer in straight sets to advance to the semifinals.

It's been that kind of year for Federer. So much so, that when August 18th hits, he will turn over his almost two-year reign at No. 1 to Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Federer just hasn't played up to his gold standard of year's past. It all started in the Australian Open when Novak Djokovic, the world's third-ranked player, ousted him in the semis. In the two other majors, Federer succumbed to the youthful Nadal.

Are we gradually watching a changing of the guard in men's tennis? I think it's much too early to make such a bold statement, but one thing is certain: the rest of the field has finally caught Fede.

I still believe that Fede has it in him to turn it up one more notch, but whether we see that at this year's U.S. Open or the start of next year, I just don't know.

The most underlying message to take out of this match, though, surrounds Blake himself. Blake, a college superstar at Harvard, never lived up to the expectations in the professional ranks.

For the first time in his professional career, I saw Blake finally play to his potential. Not only did he beat Fede, he won soundly in straight sets.

Now Blake marches into the semis, and hopefully that means another medal for the United States.

As for Fede, the wait continues until he can regain his swagger at Flushing Meadows.