Tennis: Team GB's Andy Murray finally wins at Wimbledon and takes home a gold medal after defeating Roger Federer

 

There were tears of joy on Centre Court for Andy Murray as he avenged his Wimbledon final defeat by Roger Federer in the finest possible way to win Olympic gold but Murray and Laura Robson could only win a silver in the mixed doubles as Belarus' Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi took gold.

It was four weeks to the day since that heartbreaking loss had left him sobbing with despair but things could not have been more different today.

Murray - who described his victory as "the biggest win of my life" - has relished the whole Olympic experience and he did not just beat Federer, he handed him his heaviest ever defeat at Wimbledon, sealing a remarkable 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory with an ace.

Federer certainly went into the match as the favourite on a stage he has made his own but he had to settle for silver, ending his hopes of matching Serena Williams yesterday and completing the 'golden slam' of all four grand slams and the Olympic title.

Murray had come out firing four weeks ago, breaking Federer in the first game, but today it was the Scot who found himself under pressure as he gave away two break points.

He saved them both, though, and that was to prove vital as he went on to win the first set.

Federer was making a lot of unforced errors while Murray gradually raised his level and, after missing a chance to break in the fourth game, moved ahead in the sixth when the world number one could not handle a fizzing backhand.

Centre Court was rocking, and the noise level increased again when Murray broke to take the set, nailing a backhand pass just inside the line.

Murray had talked in the build-up about the rarity of Federer treading new ground and how that levelled the playing field, and he was certainly not showing the same form he did at Wimbledon.

There was a lot on the line for the Swiss player, who is unlikely to have another chance to win a singles gold medal, the only major honour missing from his trophy cabinet.

Tension had crackled around Centre Court in the Wimbledon final but today it seemed to have homed in on Federer's racquet.

Even the net was on Murray's side as two bits of luck helped him break for the third time in a row to lead 2-0 in the second set.

The key game of the match followed as Federer threw everything at Murray in an effort to get back on terms, forcing six break points, but every time he was repelled.

The crowd sensed it was vital he held on, and remarkably he won an eighth straight game when Federer double-faulted, and then a ninth before the Wimbledon champion finally stopped the rot.

There was an air of disbelief on Centre Court, could this really be happening? Federer had a chance to pull one break back but again Murray held firm to move into a two-set lead.

Federer had played for almost four and a half hours on Friday in beating Juan Martin Del Potro in a titanic semi-final and his movement was certainly not up to his usual standard.

But that was to take nothing away from Murray, who was pinning the great man back with the ferocity of his groundstrokes, particularly his cross-court backhand.

A two-set lead was still far from victory of course, with Federer having come back from two sets to love down to win on many occasions, including against Julien Benneteau at Wimbledon.

Often Murray has a dip at such moments but not today, he simply maintained the same excellent level and broke again with another superb backhand.

Federer prevented the Scot moving 5-2 ahead and then forced him to serve it out. The nerves must have been coursing through Murray's body but he did not show it, two big serves bringing up match point before the final coup de grace.

The world number four celebrated the finest win of his life by climbing up to the players' box to celebrate with friends and family, and it could yet be double gold with the mixed doubles final still to come.

Andy Murray narrowly failed to make it a golden double as he and Laura Robson were beaten by Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the final of the mixed doubles.

Murray returned to Centre Court only 45 minutes after thrashing Roger Federer to win singles gold, and it looked like he would be celebrating again when the British pair raced through the first set.

But Mirnyi and Azarenka, the women's world number one, hit back to take the second and prevailed in a close match tie-break to win 2-6 6-3 10-8.

Murray hailed the biggest win of his career after beating Federer.

"It's number one for me," he told BBC1. "The biggest win of my life. This week's been incredible so far.

"I've had a lot of fun, the support's been amazing. One more match to go, but it's been unbelievable."

Murray said he was inspired both by the performances of his Great Britain team-mates and the crowd, who were unusually boisterous for SW19.

"They're unbelievable," he said. "It's not just here but all of the events I've watched. I watched the athletics last night it was amazing.

"The way Mo Farah won... I do 400m repetitions in my training and when I'm completely fresh I can run it in 57 seconds and his last lap after 9,600m was 53 seconds. It's just unbelievable fitness.

"It gave me a boost coming into today. The momentum the team's had the last couple of days has been so good."

Murray admitted the achievement had surprised even him.

"I didn't expect that at the start of the week," he said. "I had a chance of going deep into the tournament [but] I was a little bit tired after Wimbledon, and playing the mixed as well.

"But I felt so fresh. On the court today I didn't really feel nervous at all apart from at the beginning of the match."

Murray felt his victory was the perfect way to recover from his Wimbledon disappointment.

"It's worth it," he said. "I've had a lot of tough losses in my career. This is the best way to come back. I'll never forget it."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
peopleIggy Azalea was left red faced but apparently unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition