Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerRoger Federer (SUI) v Andy Murray (GBR)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Andy Murray delighted the British fans on Sunday by brushing aside Roger Federer in straight sets to claim the men’s singles gold medal at the Olympic Tennis Event. 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.
Serena and Venus Williams were also back in action on Sunday as they secured the women’s doubles gold medal for the third time, breaking a significant Olympic record in the process. A day after Serena tasted singles glory, the American sisters defeated Czech pair Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 64 64 to become the most decorated tennis Olympians... they are the only tennis players to win four gold medals.
Three bronze medals were also decided on Sunday. Juan Martin del Potro won Argentina’s first medal of London 2012 by recording a very impressive victory over the world No. 2 from Serbia, Novak Djokovic, 75 64. It was gutsy comeback from del Potro, who lost to Federer in the semifinals in a marathon three-setter that, at 4 hours 26 minutes, is the longest known best-of-three-sets match in the Open Era.
There was bronze medal success on the doubles court for Russia and USA. The Russian pairing of Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova defeated Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 46 64 61 in the women’s doubles, while Raymond bounced back with Mike Bryan in the mixed doubles to claim USA’s fourth medal of the tennis event, overcoming German duo Sabine Lisicki and Chrisopher Kas 63 46 [10-4].