LONDON: Andy Murray demolished Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the Olympic men’s final to win his first gold medal and avenge his Wimbledon final defeat against the world number one.
Just four weeks after breaking down in tears when Federer shattered his hopes of a first Wimbledon title, Murray returned to Centre Court to rout the Swiss great in just one hour and 56 minutes.
The 25-year-old Scot, beaten in three Grand Slam finals by Federer, has been in superb form all week, but even he had not dreamed he would win gold in such emphatic style.
Not only did the world number four do it by beating the Swiss for the first time since 2010, Murray also handed the 17-time Grand Slam winner his heaviest defeat in a major final since Rafael Nadal thrashed him for the loss of just four games in the 2008 French Open final.
“This is one of the biggest wins of my life,” said Murray. “I have had a lot of tough losses in my career and this is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final. I didn’t expect this at the start of the week. I thought I’d go deep into the tournament but I felt so fresh today. It’s amazing.”
For Federer, a doubles gold medallist with Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008, this final was meant to be the crowning glory of his career.
Instead, Federer, who will be 35 by the time the Rio Games are in full swing in 2016, may wonder if he will ever get a chance to win the Golden Slam of all four majors and singles gold.
Federer claimed tiredness had taken its toll after his four-and-a-half hour semi-final win over Juan Martin del Potro and said, “It was a tough tournament and maybe I was a little emotionally drained and left a bit too much out there in the earlier rounds.
“But Andy did play very well, he was much better than I was. Still, I have a medal in the singles. That’s what I wanted.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.
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