In his best season on the Tour, Andy Murray claimed 78 wins and nine titles in 2016, finishing as the year-end no. 1 for the first and only time after a wild chase with Novak Djokovic! After another setback at the Australian Open, where he never went all the way, Andy lost ground before the clay season.
He got back at his best in May, winning Rome and reaching the final of Madrid and Roland Garros, losing both to Novak. Queen's and Wimbledon were in Andy's hands, and he took a break before the Olympic Games in Rio, where he was one of the title favorites.
Murray scored three comfortable triumphs and overpowered Steve Johnson and Fabio Fognini to reach the gold medal match, hoping to defend the title won four years ago at Wimbledon against Roger Federer. On the other side of the net stood Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the opening round after a thriller.
After four hours and two minutes, Murray prevailed over del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to write history as the first player with two men's singles Olympic gold medals! Andy created 23 break chances and converted nine to control the pace, losing serve six times from the Argentine's 12 opportunities.
A volley winner pushed Andy in front in game two, and Juan Martin broke back in the next one when Murray netted a backhand. Struggling to find the range on the backhand, Delpo sent one of those wide in game four to lose serve at love, missing a forehand a few minutes later and allowing Andy to forge a 4-1 lead.
The Briton played a loose service game at 4-2, giving serve away to keep Juan Martin in the set before four good holds on both sides. Serving to stay in the set at 5-6, del Potro lost the focus against the Briton's solid returns, and Murray fired a backhand down the line winner to earn the crucial break and clinch the opener 7-5 after a grueling 74 minutes.
In Rio 2016, Andy Murray claimed the second Olympic gold medal.
Juan Martin was ready to fight, opening the second set with a break when his backhand down the line passed Murray and gaining momentum after saving three break chances in the second game.
He closed it with a service winner to cement the advantage and blasted another in game four for 3-1. We saw some excellent serving on both sides, and Delpo moved 5-3 ahead with an unreturned serve, creating a set point on the return in game nine.
Andy saved it with a volley winner to extend the set, but nothing could help him when Juan Martin landed a forehand down the line winner at 5-4 to clinch the set after an hour, getting himself in a good position ahead of set number three.
Andy restored the order and placed a backhand down the line winner for a smooth hold at the beginning of the third set, bringing the third game home with an ace. A service winner gave him a 3-2 advantage before scoring a break when Delpo sprayed a forehand error that cost him dearly, having to chase the result in the rest of the set.
The momentum was on the Briton's side, and he delivered another break in game eight with a return winner to wrap up the set and make a big step towards the gold. In this part of the encounter, Andy had the upper hand despite serving at only 45%, playing well in his service games and converting two out of four break chances for a one-sided result.
Refusing to surrender, Juan Martin broke early in the fourth set when Murray sprayed a forehand error and stayed in front only for one game, as Andy pulled it back after a beautiful drop shot that stayed out of Delpo's reach.
The third game brought the third break of serve after a fantastic volley from Juan Martin at the net. The Argentine could not confirm the lead, though, allowing Murray to steal his serve again and level the score at 2-2. Andy was the first to make a hold after a service winner in game five, followed by del Potro, who hit an unreturned serve for 3-3 and more drama, especially after he broke at 15 in game seven with a smash winner.
The Argentine held for a 5-3, preparing to serve for the set in game ten. Standing two points from winning the set on two occasions, del Potro netted a routine backhand to suffer a break and distance himself from the finish line, sending all the momentum to the other side of the net.
Murray repelled two break points in game 11 to make an essential hold after another backhand error from Juan Martin. The Argentine wasted a game point that could have delivered a tie break a few minutes later, and Murray converted the second match point to start celebrating one of his career's most emotional titles.