Rio Olympics 2016: Andy Murray wins in singles but loses in doubles

Rio Olympics 2016: Andy and Jamie Murray are out of the Rio 2016 men’s doubles after losing 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (16-14) to Brazilian pair Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa.

The Murrays saved six match points, and wasted five set points, in an epic second-set tie-break before Bellucci and Sa eventually completed the win.

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Earlier, defending champion Andy Murray won his opening singles match, beating Serbia’s Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-2.

British women’s number one Johanna Konta beat Stephanie Vogt 6-3 6-1.

The 25-year-old 10th seed had to see off two break points in the first set before taking control against the world number 290 from Liechtenstein.

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Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic was beaten 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) by Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.After losing his serve in the first game against Troicki, second seed Murray, 29, went on to control the tempo of the match and says he is not feeling any pressure to win the singles title he claimed at London 2012.

“I will always keep my gold medal,” he said. “That will always be there. You don’t have to give it away.

“So, it’s more trying to win another medal. That builds the pressure, and wanting to do something here. It’s sort of the pressure I am putting on myself. I’m not thinking about four years ago.

“Having the Olympics come so soon after Wimbledon for me, it may have been easy to have a bit of a lull, but that’s not going to happen with the Olympics.”Konta is hoping to cap a remarkable year – in which she has earned a career-high world ranking of 13, won a first WTA title and reached the Australian Open semi-finals – with an Olympic medal.

“It was a very tough match. She was playing inspired tennis and had nothing to lose,” Konta said after winning on her Olympic debut.

Williams and Nadal through

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Defending women’s champion Serena Williams started her title defence with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Australia’s Daria Gavrilova.

German second seed Angelique Kerber, who was beaten by American Williams in last month’s Wimbledon final, won 6-3 7-5 in her opener against Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino.

Rafael Nadal, the men’s singles champion at Beijing 2008, is also through after beating Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-2 6-1 on his comeback from injury.

The Spaniard had not played for two months after pulling out of the French Open with a wrist injury.

“The wrist needs little bit more time to be 100%,” the 14-time Grand Slam winner said. “If this was not the Olympic Games, I would not be here competing.”


Rio Olympics 2016: Team USA’s biggest threat just went down in the opening game

Rio Olympics 2016: In a stunning opening game at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Croatia pulled off the Group B upset by taking down Spain 72-70 on Sunday.
We’ve gone into the past three Olympics (2008 in Beijing, 2012 in London, 2016 in Rio) thinking the same thing about men’s basketball. USA Basketball is the class of the world on the hardwood and they should be a lock to win the gold medal, but keep an eye on the Spanish. Spain is the only other country deep in NBA talent. Their roster has seven current NBA players, three former NBA players, and a draft pick (Sergio Llull) who could have come over and had an NBA career if he had wanted to.

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That depth of top talent didn’t matter to Croatia, who kept clawing back and never backing down to Spain throughout the first game of group play. Behind 23 points from Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic and a game-saving block by Philadelphia 76ers rookie Dario Saric on future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol, Croatia got a big victory that could help it outlast one of the four presumed powerhouses (Lithuania, Spain, Brazil, Argentina) and find itself in the bracket portion of competition.

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So what does this stunning defeat mean for Spain? Here are three things to know:Spain didn’t do so hot in the group play in 2012
Granted, this is an entirely different Olympics and a lot of these key Spanish players are past their prime, but Spain can take some solace in its mediocre 2012 group play in London and not worry too much about the first loss to Croatia. Back in 2012, Spain opened their group play with a solid victory against China and a nice win over a scrappy Australian team. That’s when things started to get dicey for a Spanish team that was supposed to be a lock for the gold-medal showdown with Team USA.
In its third game, Spain beat Great Britain by one point. Great Britain was in the Olympic field only because it was the host country. The British had a truly bad team that was able to take down only an even worse China team. And yet, Spain didn’t really have great focus in the game and allowed the hosts to be in it the entire time. The next game, Russia upset Spain 77-74, which meant the Spaniards were destined for a collision course with Team USA before the gold-medal game. That is … until Spain dropped its fifth game rather intentionally.
Spain barely lost to Brazil in the fifth and final game of group play, which put it on the other side of the bracket from Team USA. The Spanish would go on to beat France and get their revenge against Russia to earn a return to the gold-medal game. They ended up losing 107-100 to USA. Maybe they’ll end up having a similar route to the title game this year, but this is not the start they were hoping for.
It’s safe to be concerned that Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernandez are no longer weapons
Juan Carlos Navarro used to be the most feared weapon for the Spanish team — even more so than the Gasol brothers. His ability to be a constant 3-point threat from deep that allowed him to set up the rest of his game in the middle of the floor was truly special. Rudy Fernandez used to be the J.R. Smith of Spain. He had incredible talent, made incomprehensible gambles with his play at times, and could either shoot you out of a game or make you dominate with his spectacular presence on the court.
In the first game in Rio, neither player was a real factor. The 31-year-old Fernandez played 29 minutes and took only three shots in his time on the court. All three of his attempts were 3-pointers and all three of them missed. He was a scoring threat who didn’t score a single point in nearly 75 percent of the game. Navarro is 36 years old and looked like he was a hologram out on the floor. The man they used to lovingly refer to as “La Bomba” played only 11 minutes and missed both of his 3-point shots.
Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic was the weapon complementing Pau Gasol — not Navarro nor Fernandez. Maybe this was only one game, but their inability to hurt Croatia was certainly concerning.
Spain definitely misses Marc Gasol, which will likely keep it from challenging Team USA
Marc Gasol’s absence this summer was something to worry about heading into Rio, and it was felt greatly against Croatia. Spain was outrebounded 41-30 and gave up 10 offensive rebounds. Dario Saric was all over the offensive boards, and Darko Planinic added three offensive rebounds. These possessions that gave Croatia extra life contributed to the upset victory and left Spain scratching their heads a little bit.
Croatia was a plus-14 with Planinic on the floor, and he really shouldn’t be able to do much against Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and even Felipe Reyes and Willy Hernangomez. And yet, he was a big impact player. That doesn’t happen if Marc Gasol is in Rio playing for Spain. Defensively, he was obviously missed and he’s not a big time rebounder. But he’s a giant body on the floor and one who takes up space and can be effective on the glass against the opposition — especially against a frontcourt like Croatia’s, which shouldn’t be able to outperform Spain on the boards.
His absence probably keeps any potential gold-medal game against the U.S. from being as close as we saw in 2012. Remember that USA Basketball is missing LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and others. This isn’t a B-Team by any means, but there’s enough of a dip in talent for Team USA that a full-strength Spain team could’ve shocked the world and accomplished what Argentina did in 2004.

Instead, Marc Gasol isn’t there and Team USA will be playing its best when it gets to the gold medal game. Will Spain be playing its best? Will Spain even be playing in that game?


Rio Olympics 2016: Adam Peaty wins GB’s first medal with swimming gold

Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain won their first medal of Rio 2016 as Adam Peaty took gold in the men’s 100m breaststroke with a world record.

The 21-year-old from Uttoxeter broke his own world mark by winning in 57.13 seconds, well clear of the field.

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Peaty is the first British man to win an Olympic swimming gold medal since Adrian Moorhouse, who won the same event in Seoul in 1988.

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Welsh star Jazz Carlin won silver in the women’s 400m freestyle soon after.

“It’s so surreal to get Team GB’s first gold,” said Peaty, who finished more than 1.5 seconds clear of his nearest rival.

“I came out tonight and took the first 50 easy and came back with everything I have got. I did it for my country and that means so much for me.”

South African Cameron van der Burgh, the London 2012 champion, took silver, while Cody Miller won bronze for the USA.

Peaty, who was already the world, European and Commonwealth champion, emulates the achievement of fellow Britons David Wilkie (1976), Duncan Goodhew (1980) and Adrian Moorhouse (1988) in winning breaststroke gold.

It took five days for Britain to win their first gold at London 2012, but Peaty’s medal came on the second day of action in Rio.Reaction

Peaty, making his Olympic debut in Rio, has been dominant from the first moment he got into the pool at the weekend, having first broken his own world record with a time of 57.55secs in the heats.

Moorhouse, who dominated British swimming in the late 1980s, believes Peaty’s physical and mental attributes sets him apart from his rivals.

“He is very good at turning threats to opportunities,” he said.

“He has the technical ability and talent to do this and can then cope with the pressure of the moment and put a bubble around himself. He has got everything.”

Five-times Olympic swimmer Mark Foster added: “Everything just went right.

“He has had problems with his start but he has worked on it tirelessly and everything came right for him.

“I knew the race was over before it started. Physically he is an absolutely beast.

Rebecca Adlington, who won two Olympic swimming gold medals at Beijing 2008, said: “His stroke and power is incredible.”

Peaty’s achievement delighted British Olympic team-mates Adam Gemili and Greg Rutherford.

Sprinter Gemili said that Peaty was “in a class of his own”, while long jumper Rutherford said on social media: “The whole of GB tower here in the village erupted when Adam Peaty won. What a brilliant feeling.”


BBC Sport’s chief sports writer Tom Fordyce:

“This was more than just Britain’s first gold medal of these Rio Olympics, it was one of the finest displays by a British athlete in Olympic history.

“To win over 100m by 1.56 seconds, to leave the last Olympic champion more than a body length behind, is extraordinary even by the exalted standards Adam Peaty has set in his young career.

“Wilkie 1976, Goodhew 1980, Moorhouse 1988, and now Peaty 2016. The moment a young man’s life changed forever.”


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Rio Olympics 2016: Team USA makes a gold medal statement with big wins

Rio Olympics 2016: The Rio Olympics may have started on Saturday, but Sunday they announced their presence with authority.
Day 2 provided the most exciting moments of the games thus far, highlighted by U.S. swimmers and gymnasts dominating their events. Team USA put the rest of the world on notice with outstanding performances in the pool and at the gym.
Here are some takeaways from Day 2’s swimming finals and women’s gymnastics qualifying.

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Phelps comes through
There was some debate as to whether Michael Phelps should have even been included in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay, and boy did he prove his doubters wrong. Phelps swam an incredible 100-meter in the second leg to give the U.S. a lead it would never relinquish. Nathan Adrian closed out the race to edge France and Australia for the gold.

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Ledecky bests herself
Katie Ledecky’s biggest competition during the 400m freestyle final was, well, Katie Ledecky. But even she wasn’t that much competition, as she smashed her previous world record, beating the closest competitor by nearly five seconds. Ledecky won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay on Saturday, and hopes to win gold in three more events.

USA gymnasts are really, really good
The American women’s gymnastics team put up the highest score in every discipline en route to the top qualifying score. Individually, Simone Biles qualified with the top score — as expected — and Aly Raisman took the second American spot, meaning Gabby Douglas will not defend her 2012 gold. The U.S. is going to take home a lot of gold over the next few days.