POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 06, 2012
WIMBLEDON, England » Andy Murray stood with the Union Jack draped over his shoulders, an Olympic gold medal around his neck, flanked by the man he had just beaten, Roger Federer, and basking in the roar of the Centre Court crowd.
No wonder the often dour Scotsman was grinning.
Murray won one for the home team Sunday, beating Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the tennis final at Wimbledon.
The victory marked a career breakthrough for Murray. He has lost all four of his Grand Slam finals, three against Federer, including Wimbledon a month ago.
"It has been the best week of my tennis career by a mile," Murray said. "I've had a lot of tough losses. This is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final. I'll never forget it."
For Federer, the drubbing marked another Olympic disappointment. Playing in the games for the fourth time, he sought a victory to complete a career Golden Slam but settled for silver — his first singles medal.
"Don't feel too bad for me," Federer said. "I felt like I won my silver, I didn't lose it. So I feel really happy."
Murray swept nine consecutive games to take control, breaking Federer's serve four times in a row, his inspired play a reflection of raucous crowd support. He erased all nine break points he faced.
"He never looked back," Federer said. "His credit for getting in the lead and using the crowd to come through. He did an unbelievable job."
The match capped the most memorable Olympics for tennis since it returned to the games in 1988 after a 64-year absence. The event transformed staid Wimbledon into a more festive place.
Murray became the first British man to win the gold in singles since Josiah Ritchie in 1908.
In the day's first match on Centre Court, women's singles champion Serena Williams teamed with sister Venus to win their third career doubles gold medal. They defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4.
Murray settled for a silver in mixed doubles with teammate Laura Robson. They lost to Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8).
Mike Bryan won his second medal of the weekend when he and U.S. teammate Lisa Raymond took the bronze in mixed doubles, which was back in the Olympics for the first time since 1924. Bryan and his brother Bob won the gold in men's doubles Saturday.
Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova of Russia took the bronze in women's doubles, while Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina won the bronze in men's singles.