By a Newsnet reporter
Andy Murray has won the Olympic gold medal after beating world number one Roger Federer in a three set demolition in the final on Wimbledon’s centre court.
The Scot, who lost to the Swiss legend last month in the final of Wimbledon, took his revenge in front of a delirious crowd beating Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
In winning the ‘fifth slam’ Murray has won his first ever five set major final and in doing so has beaten the world’s top two players en-route, having dispatched Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.
The much anticipated final was the perfect antidote after Murray’s dramatic loss in the Wimbledon final 28 days earlier where he lost in four sets after taking the first. Many tennis pundits believed that the closing of the roof mid-way through the All-England club final gave Federer a slight advantage that day.
The Olympic final however saw the roof remain open for the duration and, in a centre court basked in sunshine, the Scot showed he has the game to beat the world’s best players by taking the game to the Swiss.
Federer was looking for the Olympic title to complete his collection of major wins. However the Scotsman, who had lost his three previous major finals against the Swiss maestro, had other thoughts.
In a carbon copy of the Wimbledon final it was Murray who drew first blood, taking the first set 6-2 in 37 minutes after breaking Federer twice.
Prior to the match Murray had made it clear he would not be satisfied with anything other than a win.
He said: “Anybody that knows me knows I won’t go into the match happy with just having a silver medal. I go into the match 100% trying to win. I’ll give everything I can on the court.
“Now I’m in the final, I have the chance to win a gold medal. I’m not going to have that chance for another four years. So I’ll give it everything I can to try to do that.”
The similarity with the previous encounter ended at the first set though as Murray’s confidence grew. Immediately into the second set Murray broke the Swiss again.
The Scot went on to break Federer no less than three times as he strode to take the second set 6-1 in 46 minutes, and closed in on the ultimate prize.
One moment in particular encapsulated Murray’s performance when in a seventeen minute long game in the second set, that saw Murray save six break points, the Scots conjured up a breathtaking point that looked all over a Federer winner.
Stooping and stretching to get to a Federer return that the Swiss, crowd and the commentators had all but given to Federer, Murray produced a wonder backhand that swept past a bewildered opponent and had the crowd cheering.
Two sets to nil up, Murray then sealed a historic win by taking the third set 6-4 after breaking Federer in the sets fifth game.
Commenting on Murray ‘s incredible win, First Minister Alex Salmond, said: “Andy Murray played the match of his life on the biggest stage of all against the best player in tennis history.
“This gold medal marks Murray’s arrival as a contender to be the world’s number one. To beat Djokovic and Federer is an epic achievement. To demolish Federer in an Olympic final is breathtaking.
“It’s a Murray masterclass which should make everyone in Scotland extremely proud.”
This might not be an official grand slam event, but make no mistake this is a significant win for Murray who has now beaten the world number one in a major five set final. Also, to do it so soon after an emotional defeat at the same venue at the hands of the same opponent will give Murray a significant psychological boost.
This was Andy Murray free of the demons and inconsistency that has plagued his game in recent years. So good was the Scotsman’s play at one point that Federer went a whole hour unable to win a game.
There was no rest for Murray, who was back on court within an hour to try to repeat his winning performance in the mixed doubles final where he partnered young English starlet, Laura Robson.
However, it wasn’t to be for the British duo who just failed to overcome top seeds, the Belarusians Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi, losing the match in a tie break.