The Backhand

Weekend Outlook

Stuart Barefoot


Murray did it. He beat Federer in thee sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Who saw that coming?
Andy Murray has a 2 set lead over Federer. After taking the first set 6-2, he won the second by a 6-1 score. Apparantly it's best of 5, not three as we originally posted. Sorry for the mistake.
Lots of Gold for the US!!!! Serena downed Sharapova while the Bryans beat the French! Additionally, Serena and Venus won gold in the women's doubles
Since it only happens once every four years the Olympics should be an international holiday. You almost need the week off to see the all the events you want. It's strange how we get into random sports once the Olympics start. For example, who would have thought that handball and a game where you jump on a trampoline would be Olympic sports? That isn't meant to be a criticism, they are fun sports to watch. We all may have our own obscure games we like to watch, but we can all meet back in the middle and agree that tennis is our favorite. With things heating up in London, it's time for your weekend outlook.
Not only does the first story relate to the WSO, but it's patriotic as well. All of the American men have been knocked out except for the Bryan Bros. The two will be playing in the gold medal match on Saturday against Tsonga and Michael Llorda.  The Americans took down Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet on Friday 6-4, 6-4 . Going to the finals guarantees a silver medal at the very least. The twins won a bronze in 2008, and at 34-years old, this may be their last chance for gold. "It could be our last shot at Olympic glory" said Bob "I'm very happy we do have a medal because semi-finals is no guarantee that you're leaving with the hardware." It may also be one of their most important matches ever. "Every sports fan in the world knows what an Olympic gold medal is" said Bob. "Not necessarily do they know what a Wimbledon title is. I think that would be the front of the trophy case for sure." 
Speaking of gold medals Roger Federer is playing for one. Surprised? After ousting Juan Del Potro 3-6, 7-6, 9-7 Federer will be playing for his second gold medal and his first in singles play against Andy Murray. Regardless of if he wins, he plans to play in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, provided that he stays healthy. He'll be 34 pushing 35 in the 2016 games so it is not a given that he will be completely healthy. So here's a quick scenario. Nadal won in 2008 and has been hurt since losing at Wimbledon, continuing the trend of no one winning consecutive gold medals. If Federer wins gold this weekend, there is maybe a 50 percent chance that he doesn't play in 2016. We may just never see someone win gold in back-to-back Olympics. For Murray, it's another chance to win in front of his countrymen. The Englishmen eliminated Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 in the semis. 
On the Ladies side, Serena and Maria Sharapova will compete for the gold. Serena eliminated Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2, clinching herself at least a silver medal. Sharapova is enjoying her first go round in the Olympics and worst case scenario, she'll be leaving with some silver hardware after knocking off fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko. 
As if worrying about playing in the gold medal match isn't enough to occupy her mind, Serena and big sis will be playing in the doubles semis. They defeated Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci from Italy 6-1, 6-1. They'll be taking on Andrea Hlvackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic. Venus has the chance to win an astounding 4th medal.
A quick take on things:
People were worried about Federer going into the Olympics, citing past games when less known players slew giants to win gold. Any skepticism about the world's best player was unfounded, especially after the way he played at Wimbledon. Combine that with the fact that he had the easier half of the draw, his chances of going to the finals were pretty good. Djokovic had the more challenging half, and had tough matchups with Tsonga and Roddick before he got to Murray. He was probably just burnt out.
It's kind of hard to imagine the sisters losing. Given how well Serena has been playing, it is tough to bet against her.
Regardless of how things go in Men's doubles, there will be positive spin. If the Bryans win, then hooray for USA. If Tsonga wins, then that's good for the WSO. Always a silver lining.

The Backhand's picks:
It has to be Roger Federer. The man exists in his own stratosphere and it can't be reached by even good players like Andy Murray. That being said, Murray will take one set. So our official guess here is Federer wins in three sets.
Serena and Sharapova could be a toss up. Both are looking for their first gold, but Serena has been playing incredibly well lately, so she is good choice. Sharapova, like Murray, will probably nab a set before losing in three.
For doubles, the Williams sisters will win, but the Bryans may lose, if for no other reason than the fact that they will have to face Tsonga. But that's just an opinion.
So even if the Willimases and the Bryans can't bring the gold home for the US we can take solace in the fact that our gymnast, swimmers and basketball players will. The Olympics really are fun, it's a shame it has to end so soon.

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