Great Briton sets mark with 2nd singles gold
ANDY Murray became the first player to win two Olympic tennis singles gold medals on Sunday and admitted his epic four-set victory over Juan Martin del Potro was one of the toughest matches he had ever played.
The 29-year-old world No. 2 defeated his opponent 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a showdown which lasted over four hours and suffered numerous, dramatic shifts in momentum.
Played out against a background of deafening noise generated by a legion of passionate, screaming Argentine fans, Murray admitted the final had pushed him to the limit.
"It was probably one of the hardest matches I have had to play to win a big final," said the British star.
His Rio gold adds to his 2012 London Games title and Grand Slam collection of the 2012 US Open and 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon crowns.
Murray said he was proud of his achievement especially as it was sealed in a final which featured 15 breaks of serve and ended with both men exhausted and exchanging a lengthy embrace at the net.
With two golds in the bag, Murray refused to entertain thoughts of a third at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"I will be 33 in four years time, I don't know if I will still be playing at the same level then. I am happy to still be here and still playing."
Del Potro, a bronze medallist in London four years ago, was inconsolable, weeping as he sat courtside after the final.
He had defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first round and third seed Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
All of that from a player who came into Rio with a world ranking of 141.
"When I saw the draw and I was playing Novak, I thought that this will be a very short tournament," said the 27-year-old.
"Silver is like a gold for me - I will remember this for the rest of my life."