James Blake Puts the Nail in Roger Federer's Coffin

Andy SteinContributor IAugust 14, 2008

Roger Federer is the No. 1-ranked tennis player in the world, for now.  There's more than just Nadal breathing down his neck. 

The big news story for Olympic tennis was the inevitable meeting of Nadal and Federer for a third time this summer alone.  After begrudgingly losing a long and grueling battle to Nadal at Wimbledon, there has been a shakiness in Federer that the world has never seen before.

In Beijing, at the 2008 Olympics, Federer hoped to prove that he could still get the job done on the big stage.  Standing in his way was American James Blake. 

Blake has always been a powerful player with a blistering forehand, but he faltered when he faced the big players.  Up until the Olympics, the most notable win to his credit was when he beat Andre Agassi in the legend's final professional match at the US Open.

In the previous times the two had met, Federer had only lost one set.  Today, that all changed.

Blake used his blistering forehand and more consistent play than usual to beat Federer 6-4, 7-6.  Not only does this prove that Federer is no longer unbeatable, but that Blake can win the big game.

Blake has done the improbable. In 2004, he suffered a fractured neck during a match in which he ran into the net-pole.  He was out of tennis the entire year and contemplated retirement. 

Through a long comeback he has taken a lot of scrutiny.  Now he has finally showed the world what he can do. 

Moving on, he has a great chance for a medal.  Nadal and Djokovic are still favorites, but Blake is on the horizon and now has a boosted resume.