The Backhand

Monday Mashup

Stuart Barefoot

Things did not begin particularly well for U.S tennis players at the Olympics. They did, however, end splendidly, earning a total of three gold medals. While there may not be a whole lot of stories for your Monday Mashup, the ones we do have are mega important. Quality not quantity, right?
As a bit of a side note, to keep yourself up to date on all Olympic games, check here regularly. Now with no further interruption, here is this week's Monday Mashup.
Andy Murray Wins Gold-  We knew coming into the Olympics that they have a history of surprises. Go ahead and add 2012 to the list. Andy Murray won the Gold medal when he beat Federer in three sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Some people might have thought that Murray could pull out the win, but to do it in three sets and in the dominating fashion that he did raised more than a few eyebrows. To add to the intrigue, he is the first man from Great Britain to win an Olympic gold in over 100 years. Now that he beat Federer, he may feel a bit vindicated after his disappointing loss at Wimbledon. In the bronze medal match, Juan Martin del Potro defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 to give Argentina their first medal of the games. By the way, did anyone else see the wSO commercail onNBC during the match? That was pretty cool.
Serena Also Wins Gold-   She actually won two gold medals, one alone and another 
with her sister in doubles. The last person to win singels and doubles gold in the same Olympics was Venus in 2000 at Syndey. Looks like little sis is trying to imitate her, which is normal among siblings. Serena is now one of only two women to win four majors and an Olympic Gold medal, the other being Steffi Graf. The match was played with the roof on due to rain (surprised?) making it the first time an Olympic doubles gold medal match was played indoors in 100 years. Just a little fun fact for you.
The Bryan Bros Getting in on the Fun- The American twins won gold when they defeated Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llorda 6-1, 7-6, 6-2. They have won 11 grand slams together, but much like Serena and Federer, were seeking the much coveted gold medal for the first time. At 34-years old, Bob and Mike probably don't have very long left in their careers, and this is a crowning achievement. "We could stop tomorrow and we'd have a big smile on our faces" said Mike.
Azarenka and Mirnyi win Mixed Doubles- The duo from Belarus downed Murray and Laura Robson 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 to bring home the gold. Azarenka won bronze in the women's singles as well to cap off a nice Olympic showing. 
Dolgopolov Wins Citi-   There was tennis away from the Olympics, and a WSO player nabbed a victory in Washington. Alexandr Dolgopolov took down Tommy Haas 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-1 for his first ATP World Tour 500 event title. 
Reviewing our Picks:
On Friday the Backhand made some predictions about who would win Gold. Let's review them:
Men's Singles:  TB pick- Roger Federer...... WRONG
Women's Singles:  TB pick- Serena Williams...... CORRECT!
Men's Doubles:  TB pick- Tsonga/Llorda....... WRONG
Women's Doubles:  TB pick-  Serena/Venus...... CORRECT!
Mixed Doubles:  Forgot to make a pick..... OOPS
Two out of four (or out of five depending on how you look at it) isn't too bad. It's not great, but a respectable way to end the Olympics.

Back to The Backhand