Gold, not tears, this time for Murray
Updated: 2012-08-06 11:48:24
In Beijing four years ago he produced a lame performance, crashing out in the first round of the singles.
Britain's Andy Murray reacts after defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer in the men's singles tennis gold medal match at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games Aug 5, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Murray's career will still ultimately be defined in terms of Grand Slam titles. But he left no one in any doubt as to what Sunday's triumph meant.
"It's definitely different. I've won an Olympic gold medal, I haven't won a Grand Slam," said Murray, who has lost all four Grand Slam finals he has contested, three of them against Federer. "I know how this feels and it feels great.
"I've lost some tough matches in some tough finals and that's hurt me a lot. I think tennis in the Olympics is getting better each time it's played because all the top players are playing now. For me it's the biggest win of my life."
After his tears four weeks ago, Murray's face was a picture of contentment as he stood on the podium with God Save the Queen filling the air for the 16th time at the Games.
A self-confessed sports fanatic, Murray said the last few staggering days for British sport had helped propel him to the greatest heights of his career so far.
"To win against Roger in straight sets on Center Court, I'm going to say it probably hasn't happened in about 12 years so I must have played a very good match," he said.
"This week's been absolutely incredible so far, I've had a lot of fun. The support's been amazing."
Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina joined Murray and Federer on the podium, placed in the middle of Center Court, after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic to the bronze medal.
Unlike Murray, Serena Williams did walk off with two gold medals swinging round her neck after partnering sister Venus to the women's double title, beating Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko in straights sets.
It completed a superb tournament for the US team who bagged three golds - twins Mike and Bob Bryan claiming the other one in the men's doubles on Saturday.
Belarus were also celebrating after Mirnyi and Azarenka silenced Center Court.
"It definitely is a special moment. I don't think there's ever going to be another Olympic Games in such a venue," world number one Azarenka told reporters.