Lopez/Nadal Top Mergea/Tecau For Gold In Rio
Johnson/Sock win bronze
Rafael Nadal teamed with countryman Marc Lopez to win the gold medal in men’s doubles tennis at the Rio Olympics on Friday, beating Romania’s Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the final. Lopez/Nadal were down a break in the deciding set, but swept the last three games to prevail. The win capped off a busy day for Nadal, as the 2008 singles gold medalist (d. Gonzalez) came back from a set down to secure his 800th match win in the singles quarter-finals over Thomaz Bellucci.
The Spaniards, seeded fifth, landed 81 per cent of first serves in the opening set and did not face a break point. Mergea/Tecau relied on power to level the match, firing 19 winners (46 total) to send the match to a deciding set. The Romanians appeared in command after breaking Lopez to love in the seventh game of the final set, but could not hold on and succumbed after two hours and 30 minutes.
Americans Steve Johnson and Jack Sock won the bronze medal after topping Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-4. Johnson/Sock used their heavy forehands to good effect against the Canadians’ net-rushing game. They hit twice as many winners (26 to 13) and did not face break point in the 63-minute win. It was the second match of the day for Johnson, who pushed Andy Murray to three sets in the singles quarter-finals.