Andy Murray was able to enact some revenge on Roger Federer, after his loss to Federer four weeks ago in the Wimbledon Final. Murray was able to deny Federer the one thing that was missing on Federer’s impressive resume, the Olympic Gold Medal in singles. Murray dominated the match from first ball to last ball defeating Federer in straight sets 6-2-, 6-1, 6-4. It was one of the lopsided losses in Federer’s career at Wimbledon.
Murray, after losing his previous four finals, finally ended a drought for Great Britain. Murray became the first British man to win a singles gold medal in 104 years on Sunday. The last man to win a gold medal in singles representing Great Britain was Josiah Ritchie in 1908. However, Murray is still looking to become the first man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a major.
Murray admitted after the match that his victory over Federer in the final was, “the biggest win of my life. This week has been absolutely incredible; I’ve had a lot of fun. I felt so fresh on the court today. I did not feel nervous really at all, apart from the beginning of the match. The support’s been unbelievable.”
The one thing was noticeably different for Murray in this final than in previous finals was his nerves. Murray had not won a set in a final until this year’s Wimbledon final and could not capitalize on poor play from his opponents until yesterday. Murray went up early on Federer and never looked back. There were some tight moments where you thought Murray would give the match to Federer, but he stayed to his game plan and hit the Swiss off the court.
The turning point in the match was the inability by Roger Federer to capitalize on break point opportunities. During the opening game Federer up 15-40 on Murray’s serve had two chances to break and take the crowd out of the match. Murray would hold serve and break Federer’s serve in the sixth game of the opening set and two games later sealed the opening set by breaking Federer’s serve again.
In the third game of the second set, with Murray already breaking Federer’s serve for a third time in the match, was looking to take control of the second set and take the air out of Federer’s sail. Federer had six break point opportunities to get the set back on serve, but Murray did not allow Federer to get back into the match and saved those break points. After that point, Murray went up 5-0 lead before Federer won his first came in over 56 minutes.
Murray never had take two sets before and with the crowd clearly behind him served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. Murray leading 30-15 hit his fourth ace of the match to set up match point. Murray finished the match, which lasted one hour and 56 minutes, with his fifth ace and raised his arms a loft in celebration.
Wimbledon had been transformed over the last week into a place of where the traditional white was dropped in favor of color. For the first time in the club’s history players were allowed to wear the colors of the country to play on the grounds. Something else that was different was the crowd. The crowd that was so nervous and quiet during the Wimbledon Final was electric and loud during the gold medal match. The fans on Henman Hill or Murray Mount enjoyed a carnival atmosphere while watching the match on a huge video screen.
The fans made the players feel like they were truly playing for their country. The crowd was not only electric during the final between Murray and Federer, but during all the matches as they cheered on their favorite players hoping to inspire them to win gold. This crowd reaction is something NBC/ESPN Tennis Analyst John McEnroe hopes to see more of during the Championships. During the broadcast McEnroe said, “I wash Wimbledon would play music like they do at beach volleyball to allow the fans to be more into the matches.”
One thing is for sure the players will never forget the experience they had playing the Olympic tennis tournament on the famed grounds of Wimbledon. As for Murray, this victory can be stepping stone he can use to propel him to winning his first major at the upcoming US Open tournament.