On this day: Andy Murray eases past Roger Federer to win Olympic gold medal


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On this day: Andy Murray eases past Roger Federer to win Olympic gold medal

Roger Federer won the seventh Wimbledon title in 2012, the first after that epic win over Andy Roddick in 2009, defeating Andy Murray in four sets. Four weeks later, Roger and Andy met again at the Wimbledon Centre Court, this time in the final of the Olympic Games.

On August 5, Andy took down the great rival 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 56 minutes to become the first Briton with the gold medal in men's singles since 1908 and Josiah Ritchie who also did it in front of the home crowd in London!

It was the 17th meeting between these two and Murray earned the first victory since Shanghai 2010, moving 9-8 in front in their rivalry. This was a perfect chance for Roger to finally win the Olympic gold medal considering the event was played at his beloved Wimbledon where he just won the title.

He lost only one set in the first four encounters before that incredible semi-final clash with Juan Martin del Potro that Roger won 3-6, 7-6, 19-17 in four hours and 26 minutes. It was the most extended best-of-three sets match in the Open era with the final set turning into an open war, lasting two hours and 43 minutes alone.

Many blame this match for Roger's weak performance in the final although it has to be said that he had a day off on Saturday while Andy had to play two mixed doubles matches on that day, with both going to the match tie break.

Just like Roger, Murray lost one set before the semi-final and beat world no. 2 Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 to reach the gold medal match against Federer on Sunday. The Briton served at only 51% but drew the most from his initial shot, defending his second serve which is always crucial for him and fending off all nine break chances (six in the third game of the second set alone) to keep his serve intact.

On the other hand, his return game was a top-notch, taking 45% of the points on Roger's serve and breaking the Swiss five times from ten opportunities, good enough for a solid straight-sets triumph. Roger had an excellent chance to open the match with a break, wasting two break points in the first game before holding at love in game two for a good start.

Andy had his first opportunity in game four but Federer escaped with an ace to level the score at 2-2. The Swiss faced more troubles on serve next time around and Andy broke him to open up a 4-2 lead when Roger netted a backhand, sealing the opening set with another break at 5-2 after hitting a backhand down the line winner.

This gave a huge boost to a home player who continued to deliver deep and strong strokes that kept Federer under pressure, securing a break at love in the second game of the second set. Roger could have erased the deficit in game three, squandering no less than six break points, unable to impose his shots and move Murray from the comfort zone or deny him at the net!

More importantly, Roger would earn only one chance on the return in the rest of the clash, mounting all the pressure at his side of the net and not being able to shake it off. The Swiss suffered another massive blow in the next game, letting a 40-15 advantage and dropping serve after a double fault, finding himself a 6-2 4-0 behind.

Serving for the set, Andy escaped a break with a service winner and wrapped it up with another service winner, taking a huge two sets to love advantage after just 83 minutes. They opened the final set with four good holds and it was Murray who delivered a decisive move, breaking in game five to jump in front.

The Briton cemented the break with a hold at love, putting Roger in more harder position and making his dream of winning the men's singles gold more distant with every game that passed. The Swiss did well to save a couple of break points at 2-4, reducing the deficit but desperately needing something huge on a return and in a rather fast manner.

Andy was just too strong, though, holding at love again in game eight to increase the lead to 5-3, moving a game away from the Olympic glory. Serving for the title at 5-4, Murray delivered three service winners to bring the victory home and start a celebration of what had been one of his most favorite and emotional crown he ever won, avenging that Wimbledon loss and building the momentum ahead of 2013 when he finally conquered a home Major.