Federer, Williams sisters knocked out of Olympics
Roger Federer's quest for his first Olympic medal came to a premature end Thursday at the Beijing Games, and Americans Serena and Venus Williams were also upset.
The top-seeded Swiss star lost a 6-4, 7-6 (2) decision to No. 8 American James Blake in the men's singles quarter-finals.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Russia's Elena Dementieva in the quarter-finals of the women's singles competition.
Her sister, Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, lost to Li Na of China 7-5, 7-5 in the quarter-finals.
Federer was seeking his first Olympic medal after being blanked in Athens (2004) and Sydney (2000). He was also looking for his first major title of the season, and remains at 12 for his career — two shy of Pete Sampras's record.
Thursday's upset loss was a stunner when you consider Blake had won only a single set in his previous eight matches against Federer.
Federer's loss means there won't be rematch in Sunday's final against Spain's Rafael Nadal, who won in epic fashion when they met for the Wimbledon title in July.
Blake will play Chile's Fernando Gonzalez in the semifinals. The 12th-seeded Gonzalez defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-4, 6-4.
No. 2 Nadal beat Jurgen Melzer 6-0, 6-4. Nadal's semifinal opponent will be No. 3 Novak Djokovic, who rallied to defeat Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The Federer-Blake match began after a rain delay of three hours and 35 minutes. The late start seemed to put Federer off his game, as he repeatedly struggled to hold serve.
Blake earned the first break in the final game of the opening set and on set point, Federer floated an easy backhand into the net.
The Swiss player was broken again and fell behind 3-0 in the second set.
Federer showed life by breaking back in the fifth game, and held serve the rest of the way to tie the match at 6-6.
Blake was brilliant in the tiebreaker, while Federer made two unforced errors, and when his return sailed long on match point, Blake screamed out in celebration.
Against Dementieva, fourth-seeded Serena Williams attempted to rally from a 5-0 deficit in the final set against the No. 5-seeded Dementieva.
The American fought off two match points during an 18-point game to hold for 5-3, before Dementieva held at love in the next game to win the set and match.