Roger Federer won't be adding an Olympic singles medal to his expansive trophy cabinet. The Swiss tennis star lost in straight sets tonight in Beijing to American James Blake, 6-4, 7-6 (2). It's the first time Blake has bested Federer in nine tries.
Despite his 12 Grand Slam titles, 55 career titles and a record 237 weeks at #1, Federer has been shut out of the medals in the three Olympic tournament he's played in. He still has a chance to end that streak in Beijing; Federer is still alive in the doubles competition with partner Stanislas Wawrinka.
This has been the toughest year of Federer's stellar career. He lost in the finals of each of the first three Grand Slam tournaments and has lost more matches (12) than he did in a 29-month stretch during the earlier part of this decade.
The Olympic tennis tournament doesn't have the prestige of any of the Grand Slams so this loss doesn't seem as major as, say, the Wimbledon loss to Nadal. Still, it's tough to imagine that Federer wasn't completely committed to winning a gold. Next up, the U.S. Open where Federer will try to cap his 2008 with a victory. The tournament in Flushing begins in 11 days.
Blake is now in the semifinals in Beijing and could face Rafael Nadal with a win.
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