What does the Olympics win mean for Murray?
Federer is widely regarded as the best tennis player ever.
Federer is widely regarded as the best grass-court player ever.
Federer has won 17 Grand Slams – more than anyone else, ever.
Federer has beaten Murray in 9 out of 10 Grand Slam final sets played (over 3 five set matches).
Murray beat Federer 3 sets to 0.
Murray beat Federer on grass, 3 sets to none.
Murray beat Federer as Wimbledon, three sets to zero.
Murray beat Federer three zip (over five sets) without losing his serve once.
This win has answered many of Murray’s critics. I know it isn’t a Grand Slam, but Federer was DESPERATE to win. He has won every other tournament, of significance, on the planet. He has won doubles gold at the Olympics, and back then he stated how much he’d like the singles medal. He fought like a man possessed to beat the Giant Argentine 19-17 in the 3rd set. Two years ago Juan Martin Del Potro beat Federer from 2 sets to 1 down at the US Open final. The guy is a serious player, and to prove just that, he beat a slightly demoralised Djokovic (Murray’s semi-final victim) for the bronze medal.
Furthermore, Federer hasn’t lost a 5 set match to Murray. Certainly not at Grand Slam level, and “double-certainly” not at Wimbledon – his second home. Federer doesn’t like Murray, he is normally a very decent man, so when he chose to publicly criticise Murray (a while back) people took note. In short, Federer didn’t like Murray’s defensive game because it worked well against him. At one stage Murray lead their head-to-head 6-2. After that, Federer went on the attack – supremely. He reeled off several crushing wins against Andy, including one utter thrashing in a Grand Slam final. Needless to say, he would not just “hand over” this gold medal to Andy.
Murray now leads their head-to-head 9-8.
It was a proper thrashing, and as such I believe it will be a massive boost to Murray’s mental state regarding “big” matches. Some people are making him favourite for the US Open. I am now one of them, but I bet it won’t be without drama. Read carefully what some, very knowledgeable, people have said about him:
Henman: “For Murray to win a best-of-five sets gold medal match against the greatest player that’s ever lived is just amazing”
Wilander: “It has to be a huge stepping stone in terms of confidence. We all know that, physically, Andy Murray is a specimen. He is stronger and fitter than any other player. If he takes the ball as early as he did today, he’s also got more variation in his game than any other player. We all knew that, but he had to improve on the mental side. Today, he perfected a game plan and then executed it to perfection.”
Croft: “I wouldn’t say he’s got more talent than Federer, but he definitely seems more talented than Djokovic. He can do more with his hands. And as for Nadal, he’s certainly lost ground having been off the tour for so long.”