The Backhand

Monday Mashup

Stuart Barefoot

After an unusual Opening Ceremony, including a giant Lord Voldemort, Queen Elizabeth, and something involving Marry Poppins, the 2012 Summer Olympics began in London this weekend. As has come to be expected, it brought a lot of excitement, patriotism, and a window into sports we otherwise would know nothing about. It also gives us another chance to watch a sport we do know plenty about. The London Games make your Monday Mashup a busy one and as you know, the games are happening as you read this, so regular updates can be found here.
The State of the Union:
And then there were two. Roddick and Isner are the only two American men to advance beyond the first round at the Olympics. After an unimpressive first day for the U.S, Roddick beat Martin Klizan this morning while most U.S citizens were sleeping. Donald Young and Ryan Harrison went down in their first matches, as Harrison broke his racquet and Young extended his losing streak. Looking towards the second round, Roddick has Djokovic to deal with while Isner took Jazri Malek in the second round.
Doubles play went a little better. The Bryan Bros won their opening match, while Roddick and Isner lost theirs. The Bryans took down their Brazilian counterparts, Thomaz Bellucci and Andres Sa, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. Unfortunately, Isner and Roddick lost to their own Brazilian foes, Marcos Melo and Bruno Soares in two sets, 2-6, 4-6.
The ladies had a bit of a better first round. Each of the Williams sisters won their opening matches. Venus took down Sara Ettari of Italy, 6-3, 6-1, while little sis obliterated Jenna Jankovic 6-1, 6-3 before she defeated Urszula Radwanska 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. Following suit, Varvara Lepchenko advanced to the second round after she knocked off Veronica Cepede Roygin three sets, 7-5, 6-7, 6-2. 
Things didn't go quite as well for Christina McHale, who lost in her first ever Olympic match to Ana Ivonic 6-4, 7-5, but did get a hug from the First Lady afterwards. Not a bad consolation prize.
Williams and Williams will be paired together in doubles against Soronea Cristea and Simona Halep of Romania in the first round. The Sisters are the defending Gold Medalist, having won in 2008 at Beijing. They also won Gold in 2000 at Sydney.
More WSO Players:
Julien Bennetueau gave Roger Federer a scare at Wimbledon. The World's top ranked player took care of business against him in the second round of the Olympics winning the first two sets 6-2, 6-2. Benneteau did win his first round match over Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-3. 
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga drew fellow WSO commit, Thomaz Bellucci in the first round and handily defeated the Brazilian despite losing the first set. Tsonga dropped the opening set 6-7, but won the next two 6-4, 6-4. 
Feliciano Lopez won his first match against Demetri Tursunov 6-7, 6-2, 7-9. Lopez dropped his first set, but like Tsonga, was able to rally and win the next two to take the match and advance to the second round.
In another match featuring two WSO players, Marcos Baghdatis eliminated Go Soeda of Japan in a three set contest, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2. 

David Goffin was ousted by Juan Monaco, who recently cracked the top 10. Goffin dropped the first two sets 4-6, 6-1 on his way to elimination.

Nikolay Davydenko won his first match against Stepankek Radek 6-4, 6-3.
Remember keep checking the link at the top of the page for more updates on the progress. Also keep in mind what Roddick said before the games started. Tennis is going to be a big attraction, but it is a part of something much larger. When you get free time during your busy day, take a chance to check out any of the U.S (or your home country) teams, as they are all worth watching.


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