Murray tops Del Potro, captures gold | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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Murray tops Del Potro, captures gold

Rio De Janeiro — Andy Murray is making a habit of accomplishing things that hadn’t been done in a while.

Or ever.

Murray became the first tennis player in Olympic history with two singles gold medals, winning his second in a row by wearing down Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 at the Rio de Janeiro Games in a back-and-forth 4-hour final Sunday.

Andy Murray celebrates after capturing his second straight men’s singles tennis gold. (AP / 2016.mb.com.ph)

Andy Murray celebrates after capturing his second straight men’s singles tennis gold.
(AP / 2016.mb.com.ph)

“Anything could have happened,” said Murray, who took the last four games after trailing 5-3 in the fourth set.

“Emotionally, it was tough. Physically, it was hard,” he said. “So many ups and downs.:

At the 2012 London Olympics, Murray won a singles gold and mixed doubles silver at the All England Club. That, of course, was also the site of his historic 2013 Wimbledon championship, ending the hosts’ 77-year wait for a British man to claim the trophy.

Murray won Wimbledon again last month, raising his Grand Slam title count to three.

On Sunday, the No. 2-seeded Murray stopped the resurgent run of the 141st-ranked del Potro, who knocked off No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first round after getting stuck in an athletes village elevator for 40 minutes earlier in the day, then beat No. 3 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. No man ever has defeated the top three seeds on the way to a gold, but 2009 US champion del Potro sure came close before winding up with a silver to go alongside his bronze from 2012.

Del Potro had the louder support, and one fan even yelled something as Murray was about to hit a shot while two points from victory. He put the ball in the net and glared in the direction the voice came from. Soon after, a spectator was escorted out.

Nadal, the 2008 gold medalist, lost 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-3 earlier Sunday to Kei Nishikori, whose bronze is Japan’s first Olympic tennis medal since 1920.