Jack Sock

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USA beats USA for gold in mixed doubles; Venus ties 82-year-old record in loss

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Jack Sock and Bethanie Mattek-Sands came back from a first set loss to take the gold medal from fellow American mixed doubles pair Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram on Sunday in Rio.

Williams and Ram won the first set 7-6, but Sock and Mattek-Sands went 6-1 in the second.

The third set went 10-7, and Mattek-Sands, in her stars and stripes socks, celebrated a gold medal with partner Sock.

With the silver medal, Venus tied Kathleen McKane for most medals in tennis. McKane won one gold out of her five medals in the 1920s. Williams has four gold and a silver. Her four gold are tied with sister Serena for most golds in Olympic tennis history.

Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic took bronze.

Team USA takes bronze in men’s doubles

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The American men’s doubles pair of Steve Johnson and Jack Sock began Friday with hopes of winning the nation’s second consecutive gold medal, following up on the triumph of the Bryan brothers at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. But a straight set loss to Romania’s Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau in the semifinals dropped the Americans into the bronze medal match, meaning only a win would get them onto the medal stand.

Johnson and Sock bounced back in a big way, defeating Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vacek Pospisil in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, to take the bronze.

This is the first Olympic medal of any kind for both Johnson, who lost to Great Britain’s Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of the men’s singles tournament, and Sock. This is the fourth time since the 1988 Summer Olympics that the U.S. has won a medal in men’s singles, with Ken Flach and Robert Seguso taking gold in Seoul and the Bryan brothers taking bronze in 2008 and gold in 2012.

WATCH: Americans Johnson, Sock take men’s doubles bronze

Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez won the gold medal match, beating the Romanian tandem of Mergea and Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Nadal, who took gold in men’s singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, has now won two Olympic gold medals in his career with a chance for a third as he’s in the men’s single semifinals. This is Lopez’s first Olympic gold of any kind, and it’s the first-ever gold medal in men’s doubles for Spain (first medal since 2000).

American Madison Keys will also look to win a bronze medal after falling in the semifinals of the women’s singles tournament to Germany’s Angelique Kerber. The mixed doubles tandem of Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram advanced to the semifinal round, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jack Sock have quarterfinal match of their own later Friday.

Venus Williams falls on a rough day for Team USA tennis

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Seven members of the United States tennis team participated in the first round of matches in the men’s and women’s tournaments at the Rio Olympics, and five saw their runs come to an immediate end. Among those who lost was Venus Williams, with Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens beating her in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Next up for Flipkens is Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, who advanced with a win over Italy’s Karin Knapp.

As for Keys, she had little trouble with Danka Kovinic of Montenegro. Seeded seventh in the women’s singles draw, Keys won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 and converted three of her nine break point opportunities. Next up for Keys is France’s Kristina Mladenovic, who beat Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic in straight sets.

Also losing in the women’s singles draw for the United States was Sloane Stephens, who tell to Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Stephens had three double faults in the match, and Bouchard managed to break her serve three times. Yet to compete for the United States in the women’s draw is top seed and pre-tournament favorite Serena Williams, who takes on Daria Gavrilova of Australia Sunday morning.

Stephens joins three American men on the sidelines, including Jack Sock, who lost in straight sets to Japan’s Daniel Taro 6-4, 6-4. Sock had issues with his serve Saturday, finishing the match with five double faults and he won less than 50 percent of the points available on his second serve. By comparison Taro had just one double fault and he won 57 percent of the points on his second serve. Brian Baker fell in three sets to Japan’s Yuichi Sugita, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. and Denis Kudla was defeated in straight sets by Slovakia’s Andrej Martin, 6-0, 6-3.

The one American male who managed to advance Saturday was 12-seed Steve Johnson, who beat Darian King of Barbados in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Next for Johnson is Gastao Elias of Portugal, with that match scheduled for Tuesday.