A Wimbledon smitten Andy Murray thwarted Roger Federer’s hopes of winning an Olympic Gold last week. Federer who was on a roll after his Wimbledon victory over Murray was handed a straight set defeat by the Scot.
As the duo met again at Centre Court nobody could have foreseen a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 defeat for the Swiss giant. Murray also crushed Federer’s hopes of completing a Golden Slam- the title of holding all four major Grand Slam titles and an Olympic Gold Medal.
Murray did exhibit top form right from the beginning of the game as Federer could not shake off those early nerves. It was interesting to watch both players trying to dominate the game by means of their superior service games; however Murray displayed a great amount of control in his shots. Early on Federer was successful in averting a break point but did concede one in the middle of a superb rally in the first set and it was all downhill from there.
The second set saw Murray dominate his way through. The third game of this set was especially notable as Federer tried to raise his head and make a comeback but his efforts were foiled by Murray and his impeccable placement and coverage of court. Moreover Federer also failed to convert several break point opportunities, something which cost him the set. Murray glided through the rest of the set although Federer’s control of his emotions was notable- something he is known for.
The way the third set unfolded made everyone think that the game was not beyond recovery for Federer. However Murray kept the pressure on and broke the Federer serve to give himself a 3-2 lead over the Swiss. This game was consolidated as Murray went on to turn his score to 4- 2 in the next game. But just when he thought he had it in the bag Federer held on to his serve in a nerve wrecking game that followed. We saw glimpses of the Federer genius returning to court here. Still pumped with the home crowd support Murray held onto his serve in the next game and dictated terms to Federer right from the baseline. Federer did exceptionally well as he served to stay in the match and held Murray to 5- 4 in this game. The crowd roared as Murray stepped in to serve for the match- for the Olympic Gold and he sure clinched the Gold with tremendous ease, unleashing three aces as he sent waves of jubilation through the hearts of his supporters and family. It must have been a long walk from the baseline to the net and back to the dressing room for Federer. While we could see Murray make his way up to the player’s box to share his elation with his support team- coaches, friends and especially his proud mother who could not control her tears.
Murray punching the air, a proud mother, Federer walking back- well acknowledged by the crowd and a very supportive and ecstatic audience- these were the final scenes as the Olympic Gold Title match in Men’s Singles came to a close.
All in all, the entire showdown left the tennis world in awe. The surprising fact was that many a times, Federer was given a taste of his own medicine by Murray in the form of unexpected forehands and craftily placed backhands, where Federer could not even move a muscle towards the ball. It is safe to say that Murray has come a long way from the Wimbledon defeat and even though Federer still holds the world number 1 crown this has to be a watershed match in his career.
Keeping the Wimbledon title match and the Olympic Finals in mind, we would love to see these two titans clash again in the future and show us what gentlemen’s tennis is all about.