Less than a month ago, when Andy Murray and Roger Federer battled it out at the finals of Wimbledon, little did it enter anyone’s mind that the pair would meet at the finals of the Olympics at the very same venue.
Federer booked a place in the final after a spectacular victory over Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals. The match lasted an exhausting four hours and 26 minutes, surpassing the clash between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the Madrid masters in 2009 as the longest three set men’s singles match in the open era. At the end, the scoreboard read 3-6, 7-6(5), 19-17 in Federer’s favour. Federer’s 186 points to Del Potro’s 180 points laminates the intensity of the match. Even though the two have met 14 times in the past, Federer winning 12 of those meetings, they have met only once on grass at Wimbledon 2007 where Federer won in straight sets. In 2008, Federer partnered fellow countryman, Stanislas Wawrinka, to win the doubles gold medal at the Olympics. Interestingly, Federer has never won an Olympic gold medal in the singles event, probably the only blemish in his outstanding career.
Breaking News: Murray has beaten Federer in straight sets to win gold. To read a report of the final, click here.
Home favorite and third seed Andy Murray wrapped up his semifinal against Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 in exactly two hours. This was indeed an emotional victory for Murray as, going into the match, the odds were stacked against him. In addition, he was also faced with the daunting task of having to perform up to the expectations of an entire nation on home turf. All along, Murray was considered one to conceal his emotions but events of the recent past depict otherwise. His outburst after his loss to Roger Federer at the finals of Wimbledon a month ago and his uncharacteristic display of emotions after his semifinal victory against Novak Djokovic at the Olympics point towards a different, more interesting trajectory. In spite of being assured a medal, Novak Djokovic will not be pleased. Djokovic has always managed to live up to the challenge offered by the opponent. The semifinal against Murray was an entirely different story though. Murray fed off the energy of the crowd and produced some remarkable tennis that left Djokovic helpless. He now has to fight for scrap against Del Potro on Sunday.
The final that will be played on Sunday will be a repeat of the Wimbledon finals and will be the only match of the Olympics that will be best of five sets. The fight for the bronze medal, which will also be on Sunday, will be between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro.
After a long wait at the center court courtesy the epic semifinal clash between Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro, Serena Williams edged closer to clinching her first gold medal by making quick work of top seed Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2 to setup a final clash with Maria Sharapova who defeated fellow teammate 6-2, 6-3.
Serena Williams partnered with sister Venus to win the Olympic gold in 2000 and 2008. The Williams sisters are assured of a medal in this edition of the Olympics also.
In the men’s doubles, The Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan face the French pair Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Micheal Llodra. The bronze medal has been snatched by the other French pair Benneteau and Gasquet after they defeated the Spaniards David Ferrer and Fernando Lopez 7-6, 6-2.