Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerClosed Roof on Centre Court
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: The Olympic Tennis Event proved a huge success at London 2012 as the world’s best players gathered on the hallowed Wimbledon grass courts to compete for medals. Serena Williams and Andy Murray stole the headlines by both producing majestic performances to win the singles gold medals, while they also enjoyed success on the doubles court.
Williams was completely dominant and swept aside all before her with consummate ease. The American lost just 17 games on her way to the title, including a comprehensive 60 61 victory over Russia’s Maria Sharapova in the final. Williams, fresh from winning her fifth Wimbledon title, dropped her serve just once during the tournament.
Serena also teamed up with her sister Venus to win the women’s doubles gold medal after defeating Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 64 64. This milestone result saw the Americans become the only tennis players ever to win four gold medals, following their past Olympic successes at Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008.
Murray delighted the British fans on the final day by brushing aside Switzerland’s Roger Federer in straight sets to claim the men’s singles gold medal. Just four weeks after he lost to the same opponent in the Wimbledon final, the world No. 4 turned the tables to win 62 61 64 in 1 hour 56 minutes.
It was an astonishing change of fortunes for Murray, who has so often played second fiddle to Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in recent years. The 25-year-old becomes the first British tennis player to win a singles gold medal since Major Josiah Ritchie achieved the feat over a century ago at London 1908.
Murray wasn’t finished there, either. Teaming up with teenager Laura Robson, the British duo came within a whisker of winning the mixed doubles event, eventually losing to No. 1 seeds Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi 16 63 [10-8]. It was a historic moment for the Belarus pair who claimed their country’s first ever tennis gold medal. It was also a historic moment for the mixed doubles event, which was being contested as a full medal sport at the Olympics for the first time since Paris 1924.
The men’s doubles gold medal went to twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, who had long coveted the top Olympic prize. The Americans, seeded No. 1, overcame France’s Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 64 76(2) to win the title, improving on their bronze medal finish at Beijing 2008.
Review all the action on the ITF Olympic Tennis website.
The full list of medallists is below:
Gold: Andy Murray (GBR)
Silver: Roger Federer (SUI)
Bronze: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
Gold: Serena Williams (USA)
Silver: Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Bronze: Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Gold: Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan (USA)
Silver: Michael Llodra / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Bronze: Julien Benneteau / Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Gold: Serena Williams / Venus Williams (USA)
Silver: Andrea Hlavackova / Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
Bronze: Maria Kirilenko / Nadia Petrova (RUS)
Gold: Victoria Azarenka / Max Mirnyi (BLR)
Silver: Laura Robson / Andy Murray (GBR)
Bronze: Lisa Raymond / Mike Bryan (USA)