Murray To Play Federer For Olympic Gold; Beats Djokovic In SFs
by James Buddell|
Andy Murray has ended Great Britain’s 100-year wait for an Olympic men’s singles tennis medal by reaching the gold medal match at the London 2012 Olympics Tennis Event.
The 25 year old will attempt to better the achievement of Charles Dixon, who won the silver medal at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
Third seed Murray knocked out second-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 on Friday at the All England Club, Wimbledon. He will next play top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland in a repeat of this year’s final at The Championships, one month ago.
"It was an unbelievable atmosphere,” said Murray. “It's amazing. I just wanted to try and win a medal, for the team, for the country and lastly for myself. I'm so happy, I would love to win the gold medal.
"Before the tournament started that was the goal [to] try and win a medal. It's been an amazing month and one of the best of my career. The support that I have had over the last month, after Wimbledon, I really needed it."
Both players got off to strong starts, Murray was particularly aggressive. Through the first 11 games, there were no breaks of serve but there was plenty of tension and quality tennis. Murray eventually earned a set point opportunity at 5-6 by charging the net and finishing with a backhand drop volley. With Djokovic serving at 30/40, Murray struck a forehand crosscourt pass to clinch the opener.
With chants of “GB, GB!” echoing around Centre Court after every winner from Murray’s racquet, the Scot was forced to dig deep in saving break points in the first, third and ninth games of the second set. Djokovic earned a fourth break point opportunity in the 11th game, but Murray saved it by hitting a winner from behind the baseline, having slipped. Djokovic could only shake his head.
“I had a lot of break balls in the second set,” said Djokovic. “Practically every service game, I had chance in the second set to make a break, especially the one at 5-all. It's a disappointing loss. But he deserves to be in the final.”
The end was sudden. At 5-6, Djokovic lost three straight points to hand Murray three match point chances. Murray took his first opportunity by ripping a backhand return to Djokovic’s feet.
Djokovic, who won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, admitted, "He played better in the important moments. He served extremely well [and] used that element in his game efficiently when he needed to. [The crowd] gave him support. They gave him, I think, positive energy. He managed to use that in his favour and win the match.”
Murray celebrated with the army of British supporters after a famous victory. He is now 6-8 lifetime against Djokovic, who will contest the bronze medal match against eighth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
"I will try to wake up tomorrow, compose myself, try to gather all the positive energy, as much as I can," said Djokovic. "[The] motivation is always there, obviously. [I will] try to repeat the success that I had four years ago."
Looking ahead to Sunday's gold medal match, Murray said, "Roger had a great win today after a long match with del Potro. We're both playing very good tennis just now so I'm going to have to go out and play a very great match."
Federer has retained the No. 1 spot in the South African Airways ATP Rankings as a result of Djokovic's semi-final loss.