The tennis, though, seems important. Laura Robson of Britain, who pushed third-seeded Sharapova of Russia to a tiebreaker in the first set only to fall, looked positively glum after the result. Asked whether she was disappointed by or proud of her 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 loss, she responded, “What do you think?” Only disappointment graced her face.
“When you’re in this atmosphere,” Sharapova said, “how can you not be motivated?”
Djokovic clearly is. He lost in the semifinals to Roger Federer at Wimbledon, and therefore lost the No. 1 ranking. But he called his performance against Roddick “a perfect match in every sense,” and Roddick would not argue.
“He beat the crap out of me today,” Roddick said.
Djokovic, who has won five Grand Slam titles but only the bronze in the 2008 Olympics, would have been quite pleased with that result in the Wimbledon tournament. But here, as he wore a Serbian t-shirt under a Serbian sweatsuit, he joked about pursuing pictures with athletes — particularly Usain Bolt, whom he has not yet met.
“It’s an incredible experience,” he said.
Williams is in her fourth Olympics, and she and her sister Serena, with whom she advanced in the doubles tournament Tuesday, collected hundreds of pins from fans and athletes around the world. Tuesday, after their victory, Serena Williams became distracted by the same two Bahamian men with whom Venus had exchanged pins at center court.
“Do you have Jamaica?” Serena cooed. “I don’t have Jamaica.” She grabbed the pin-laden lanyard around the man’s neck. “Come, come, come, come.”
She ended up with a pin from Tanzania in exchange for a photo. Never before at Wimbledon. Only at the Olympics. For now, they are one and the same.