Britain’s Andy Murray gave Roger Federer, his Swiss nemesis of three Grand Slam finals, a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 thrashing to make the Olympic gold medal his own at Wimbledon’s hallowed centre court, on Sunday, August 5.
Serving for the match, Murray drilled a forehand to go 15-0 up on his serve. it became 15-15 as Federer pounced on a second serve. Then came a huge serve that caught the outside of the Swissman’s racquet, followed by an ace that gave Murray and Britain two gold medal points. Murray was all concentration before firing an ace to put an end to Federer’s misery.
Unlike in the Wimbledon final that he lost to the Swiss ace, Murray, serving first, began shakily and trailed 15-40 in his first service game as Federer hit some deep ground strokes. But the British world number four rallied brilliantly to hold serve. Federer opened with an ace and eased through his own service game to level at 1-1. The Swiss world number one then treated the full house at Wimbledon to a brilliant backhand that rocketed down the line to make it 0-15 in his favour. But Murray responded with big first serves and won the game when Federer dumped a return into the net.
Federer went 30-0 up in quick time as Murray struggled to get his racket anywhere near the ball. Then suddenly the tide turned and it was 30-30 after Murray connected and sent two fine returns. A forehand long from Federer gave Murray break-point and the Swiss ace saw fit to serve an opportune ace and went on to hold serve and level at 2-2 .
A weak sliced back hand from the British player opened up an opportunity for Federer at 15-30. But Murray was equal to the task as he responded with a top-spin serve and followed it up with powerhouse strokes down the centre; 3-2 to Murray.
Murray was up 30-0 in Federer’s next service game after a backhand winner down the line from Murray ended a barn-storming rally. Federer rallied to safety but at 40-30 dragged a backhand wide to make it deuce, and then netted to give Murray a break point. Murray let Fedex off the hook when he failed to scoop a forehand over the net. But another unforced error from Federer opened the door again and this time Murray got the break as Federer failed to clear the tape with a backhand – 4-2 to Murray!
Murray was taken to 30-30 before he produced a whipped cross-court forehand to leave Federer standing. At deuce, the British player registered a 138mph rocket of a serve and rounded it off with an ace to go 5-2 up. Federer continued on his error-strewn path to fluff a simple backhand volley and Murray was given a sniff of the set at 15-30. Federer leveled at 30-30 with a big serve but Murray despatched his next two serves with impunity to draw first blood – first set to Murray, 6-2.
Murray opened the second set with a solid service game to win it to 15. Federer dumped a simple smash into the net and it was 0-30. A net cord helped Murray to 0-40 and three break points. Another net cord caused the ball to loop over Federer’s racquet making it 2-0 to Murray.
A couple of missed first serves in the next game and suddenly Federer was on break point. Murray was in no mood to go down without a fight and in the process saved six break points before picking a backhand off the floor and following it up with an incredible winner down the line; Federer then went long to give Murray a 3-0 lead.
Murray was on fire as he ripped another backhand past his Swiss rival. At 40-15, Federer looked poised to hold his serve but Murray showed aggressive intent as he took it to deuce and set up a break point with a blistering backhand. A double-fault from Federer gave Murray his eighth game in a row to make it 4-0.
Despite a half-chance to Federer at 15-30, Murray had it all-too-easy when the Swissman pushed a forehand long. Murray took his ninth game on the bounce after refusing to give Federer another glimpse. A deft drop shot gave Federer his first game in an hour and at 5-1, Murray prepared to serve for a two set lead.
Murray played a punishing backhand after another half-sniff for Federer at 15-30. But the Swiss ace began to work Murray round the court to open up break point. Murray saved it and was suddenly on set point after a slip from Federer. The world number one then landed one long to give Murray the second set at 6-1.
Federer made a confident start to the third set winning his opening service game to love. Murray responded in equal measure, serving to love himself. The players held their respective service games to make it 2-2. Then came the crucial break of serve; Murray’s huge forehand looped and dipped across the court to make it 15-30 followed by a low drive to the Swiss ace’s feet to give the British player two break points. Murray made a meal of the first with a sizzling cross-court backhand – 3-2 to Murray.
A weak sliced backhand from Federer looping into the net gave the Scot a 30-0 lead and the rampant Murray gobbled up Federer’s half-court shot to set up another clean winner to get the crowd screaming – Murray up 4-2. Down 0-30 Federer sliced one out wide to beat Murray but a whipped forehand gave the British hope two break points. Federer dug deep into his reserves to save both the points and eventually held to make it 4-3 to Murray.
Murray served to love to get himself within one game of gold. But Federer was not in a mood to take it lying down as he served out to love to set up the biggest service game of Murray’s life.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.