After a surprising loss to Tomas Berdych in Athens 2004, Roger Federer came to Beijing Olympics as one of the favorites to win the men's singles gold medal, only to be denied by James Blake in the quarter-final. After that, Roger turned his focus to the men's doubles event, forging a great team with his good friend Stan Wawrinka that went all the way to take the gold medal for Switzerland and bring the Olympic glory for themselves.
The Swiss duo had a busy schedule a day earlier, defeating Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in the quarters before stunning Bob and Mike Bryan in the semi-final. Thus, the Swiss pair advanced into the title match against Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson, who prevailed over Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra in four hours and 46 minutes!
After that thrilling victory over the Bryan brothers, Roger and Stan were pumped and motivated to make one final push and grab the gold on August 16, ousting the Swedes 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 thanks to a service winner from Roger in the final point.
The Swiss pair earned the first break in game four and closed the opener after an excellent hold from Roger in game nine for 6-3. They scored one break in set number two for 6-4, serving better than the Swedes and making fewer errors.
Johansson and Aspelin finally broke their rivals at the beginning of the third set to gain momentum, although it was a short-lived one as they lost serve in the next game after three double faults! Still, the Swedes won the tie break 7-4 to prolong the encounter for at least one more set, hoping to make a complete comeback and lift the first title together.
Still, it was all they could do, as Wawrinka and Federer scored a break in the fourth set's fourth game to keep the advantage until the end and earn Olympic glory. This medal came in the perfect moment for Roger, who was about to lose the no.
1 spot to Rafael Nadal two days later, stepping down from the ATP throne for the first time in four and a half years.
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka claimed the doubles gold medal in Beijing 2008.
"It's not the first time this tournament or in my life that I had to serve for a big match.
But it definitely changed a bit in doubles, where sometimes you are not in control because guys usually go for huge returns. When Stan held his serve easily to send up 5-2 up, I knew it's basically all up to me if we did not break.
It's basically the moment you dream of being in, even though there is so much pressure. I had to go through quite a few second serves to win the game, which made it even harder. We played fantastic tennis, and it's a dream come true, almost disbelief to some degree.
I grew up being a team player and always have been. I love team competitions: basketball, soccer; it's always something I've enjoyed doing. When I was in my first Davis Cup when I was maybe 16, it was the greatest thing for me.
Having a good atmosphere in the team is essential, and that's what we have. We had such a good understanding of each other today on the court and throughout two weeks. It's something we've been trying to build up for many years, and now especially the last month, talking a lot about how we would like to play doubles.
In the end, it becomes such a sweet victory; it's fantastic. I've always enjoyed playing doubles. I have not played it that much lately because the focus was on singles, Majors and No. 1. But it's still something I enjoy doing, especially at the important stages. It's way different from celebrating it alone in the pool," Roger Federer said.