THE EXPERIENCE OF THEIR LIVES - OLYMPICS SHOULD HAVE TENNIS
Aug 9, 2012, 6:41:19 PM | by
“(Tennis in the Olympic Games) is unique in so many ways,” said Roger Federer. “The importance to me it's as big as tournaments that are out there; similar to a World Tour Finals, where unfortunately we don't play...
“(Tennis in the Olympic Games) is unique in so many ways,” said Roger Federer. “The importance to me it's as big as tournaments that are out there; similar to a World Tour Finals, where unfortunately we don't play the best of five set finals anymore, or a Grand Slam. It's as high up as the big tournaments. “It was an unusual tournament, but a nice one to be part of. Obviously for me, it's the Olympic year, and you can imagine the importance of it. “For me, it's always been a dream to be part of the Olympic spirit. I tried everything I could in singles and doubles. I got a silver medal, so I'm very proud. It was emotional in many ways.” It says it all when you have everything there is to have as is the case for Federer, but you still believe Olympic glory is paramount. The dust has settled now after the end of the Olympic tennis event and no more should there be any question about tennis at the Olympics. Tennis deserves to be there and should be there. As I have said before in these blogs, it was one of the original sports in 1896. To see the passion and determination of tennis players fighting tooth and nail for every point, desperate not to lose, in a manner not seen all the time in tennis generally, proves that the Olympics have an overwhelming meaning to the players. Sure there are frustrations because things are not always done in a manner they or the tennis community as a whole are used to but look at the bigger picture and any doubts or questions fade into oblivion. This is the pinnacle of all sport. This is what it is all about. Anyone who says that tennis should not be in the Games has no clue what they are talking about or what they are saying. Andy Murray, the new gold medal winner was crushed when he lost at the Beijing Games. He said he “knew how much that meant to me, how much that hurt me”. He added: “I think that it belongs. I think the way the crowds were at Wimbledon for all the matches. You take a mixed doubles match in the first round of a Grand Slam, there will be very few people watching. You get a mixed doubles match in the Olympics; you were looking at packed crowds throughout. People love to see all sports and just anybody from their country doing well. I think tennis belongs in the Olympics. I think the way that the crowd have been in all the matches, proves that.” Just look at the matches that were played and the score lines; Federer v Del Potro 19-17, Raonic v Tsonga 25-23 are just two examples. “It's our first medal in this Olympic Games, it's the first time in singles men,” said Del Potro after winning bronze. “I think means a lot for us. I wish a fantastic day for them to celebrate this with me. Is time to celebrate this. It's amazing. It's history, I think. It's time to celebrate all together. “ The wide ranging emotions from tears of joy to tears of despair from what might have been, it was all, every last ounce, laid out on the courts for all to see. Watching the flags being raised and the national anthems being played … wow its powerful stuff. Special is an understatement. “We've won the Grand Slams, it's great, but the Olympics is something special,” said Bob Bryan who won doubles gold with his brother Mike. “There's no feeling to describe what it's like when that flag is going up and the national anthem's playing at an Olympics. It transcends any tennis event. “Yeah, a gold medal! I had a gold medal down there right outside on the walkway and people were running at me, I was like scared for my life, because people wanted to see it up close and hold it. That's an attitude that I think a lot of sports fans in the world have. They want to see it; they want to get near a gold medal. “So this is going to go in the front of the trophy case and I'm sure we'll be opening up that trophy case many times to show it to all our friends.” Venus Williams said: “We (Serena) talked for four years to be here in this position. We've really fought hard to be in this position. It means a lot to us. Olympics are the height of our careers. I think we both would put it very much up there.”