What really happened during today's Olympic semifinal match between James Blake and Fernando Gonzalez?
James, who lost to Gonzo in a thrilling 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 match, accused the Chilean of unfair play for an incident that occurred in the final set. At 8-9 and with Gonzo serving, James hit a back hand passing shot that landed long but he claimed it ticked the Chilean's racquet. Upon TV review the ball was shown to have clipped the edge of his racquet but Gonzo didn't concede the point.
The 2004 silver medalist doesn't believe the ball touched his racquet telling the press,
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. James felt, in the spirit of the Games, the Chilean should have conceded the point saying,
I've spoken all week about how much I've enjoyed the Olympic experience, how much I love the spirit of it. That's a disappointing way to exit the tournament, when you not only lose the match, but you lose a little faith in your fellow competitor.I tracked down a YouTube clip of the point in question and around the 2:05 minute mark you can see a close-up of the incident:
Whatever he wants to say is fine. Whatever is going to get him to have some sleep tonight, then that's fine.
Did it clip Gonzo's Babolat stick or is James seeing things? Based on this video and seeing it on TV it looks like the ball did touch his racquet and he would have felt it. C'mon, ballers are so sensitive to their equipment including the slightest changes of tension in their racquets so how did he not feel a ball nick his stick?
I do hope he's telling the truth. Otherwise, it's bad sportsmanship and worse at the Olympics - happy sleeping tonight Gonzo.