James Blake loses semifinal match, "faith in fellow competitor"

James Blake secured the 8th seed in the Olympics and had the biggest win of the tournament through the quarterfinal rounds after defeating the incomparable Roger Federer. A day later, he lost to Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, the number 12 seed, 4-6, 7-5, 11-9.

Following the match, Blake talked with reporters about the moment when his passing shot grazed the top of Gonzalez's racket, confirmed by TV replays, which the umpire did not see. Gonzalez refrained from admitting fault, much to the disappointment of Blake.

"Playing in the Olympics in what's supposed to be considered a gentlemen's sport, that's the time to call it on yourself. Fernando looked me square in the eye and didn't call it. I've tried to play this game for as long as I can, you know, I make mistakes but I try to do it with integrity so my parents would be proud of the way I played. If that happened the other way I never would have finished the match because my father would have pulled me off the court if I had acted that way.

I've spoken all week about how much I've enjoyed the Olympics experience, how much I love the spirit of it, how much I love the other athletes and what they've sacrificed and the guys that go out and compete their hardest -- win fair and square, lose fair and square. That's a disappointing way to exit the tournament when you not only lose the match but you lose a little a faith in your fellow competitor."

Gonzalez had a blurry recollection of the incident, which occurred in the final set with the score 8-9.

“I didn't feel anything. I mean, it's just one point. There is an umpire. If I'm 100 percent sure about it, I mean, I will give it. But I'm not sure.”

Gonzalez will face Rafael Nadal in the finals after Nadal's "Friday night" victory over Novak Djokovic. Djokovic will face Blake in the bronze medal game.

Photo via Getty Images.

What to Read Next