Road To The Olympic Games

Djokovic, Federer win tennis medals

Novak Djokovic of Serbia won bronze in men's singles tennis, while Roger Federer of Switzerland can console himself after a disappointing summer with a gold medal in the men's doubles event at the Beijing Olympics.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia won bronze in men's singles tennis Saturday, while Roger Federer of Switzerland can console himself after a disappointing summer with a gold medal in the men's doubles event at the Beijing Olympics.

Djokovic beat James Blake of the United States 6-3, 7-6 (4).

When he closed out the tiebreaker, a jubilant Djokovic ripped off his shirt and threw it to the cheering crowd, along with two rackets, and he started to throw his bag before stopping.

He took a Serbian flag from a fan and waved it as he jogged around the court.

Djokovic, seeded third, bounced back from a three-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals Friday. Blake was coming off a marathon loss to Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

Surprisingly, Djokovic and Blake had not met before on the pro tour.

Blake had upset Federer in the singles draw, the fourth loss in the last seven matches for the Swiss star. Federer will lose his top ranking on the pro tour to Nadal, who defeated him at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Federer shook off the Blake loss to win the doubles tournament with compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

Federer and Wawrinka won gold on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, (4), 6-3 win over Swedes Thomas Johansson and Simon Aspelin.

The Swedish put forth a strong effort considering they needed nearly five hours and a 19-17 third set to win their semifinal on Friday.

For Federer, it was his first Olympic medal after being upset in Athens.

"Sort of a dream-come-true moment," Federer said. "Maybe it comes around once in a lifetime. It's almost disbelief, to some degree."

All-Russian women's final set  

Dinara Safina ran into the corner near the potted flowers to retrieve one ball, then sprinted across the "Beijing 2008" design in the concrete to the other side of the court for the next shot.

She was rewarded for her effort, winning that point and the match over Li Na of China 7-6 (3), 7-5 to forge an all-Russian Olympic final.

Safina closed out her victory less than five minutes after Elena Dementieva beat a third Russian semifinalist, Vera Zvonareva, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

"It's a huge moment for Russia," Dementieva said. "I'm sure all the fans in Russia will be very happy about it."

The No. 6-seeded Safina and No. 5 Dementieva will play for the gold medal Sunday. Dementieva was a silver medallist at Sydney in 2000, while Safina is a first-time Olympian.

Also on Saturday, Venus and Serena Williams clinched at least a silver medal in doubles with a victory in the semifinals.

The sisters beat another sibling pair, Ukraine's Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, on Saturday.

The Williams sisters improved to 9-0 lifetime in Olympic doubles. They won the gold medal at Sydney in 2000 but didn't play doubles in 2004 because Serena was hurt.

Both were beaten in the quarter-finals of singles Thursday.

Seeded second, the sisters will play Sunday against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain.

They upset the gold medal hopes for China with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Yan Zi and Zheng Jie.

Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States, the top seeds in the men's doubles, had to settle for bronze on Saturday at the Olympic Green Centre. The Bryans came back to defeat Arnaud Clement and Michel Llodra 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The remaining medals in tennis will be handed out on Sunday, the final day of competition in Beijing as the best in the world prepare for the U.S. Open. The last Grand Slam event of the tennis season begins on Aug. 25.