Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 London Olympics Tennis: Wimbledon Replay between Federer and Murray

On July 8, 2012, Roger Federer and Andy Murray competed at the final of the Men's Singles final at 2012 Wimbledon Championship in which the Swiss won 4–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–4. On August 4, just under a month afterwards, at the same venue (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) the two men will meet for the fight for an Olympic gold. Federer already has one Olympic gold for the Mixed Doubles event, but for Murray this is the first chance for Olympic glory.

The Olympic Men's Singles contest had 64 men from 34 nations competing in it. The reigning Champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from the competition in July. There were no big surprises, although a second round match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Milos Raonic of Canada produced an epic 3 hour and 57 minute contest on July 31, 2012. It was then the longest three set men's singles tennis match in the Open era (from 1968). But, this record was to be eclipsed in just three days, on August 3.

That day, in the first Semi Final, Roger Federer beat the much younger Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in an epic battle to secure a place at the final. This was Federer's the ninth Semi Final at the Centre Court at Wimbledon and he has won all of them. However, he went down in the first set to the Argentinian. It took the 31 year old Swiss a staggering 4 hours and 26 minutes to defeat his opponent 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. This epic clash broke the record for the longest three set men's singles tennis match in the Open Era set by Tsonga and Raonic just three days ago. Also it showed that even at 31, Federer is still a fit man at his best of form.

Andy Murray was roared on by a vociferous, euphoric home crowd at Centre Court in the second Semi Final against an opponent no less than the current World Number One, Novak Djokovic. But the 25 year old Scottish tennis player and the British crowd had the better of the 25 year old Serbian. Murray defeated him 7-5, 7-5. (Incidentally, Murray is just a week older than Djokovich. He was born on May 15, 1987 while the Serbian was born exactly seven days later).

While Murray, Djokovic and del Potro may get another chance at Olympic gold in 2016 and even in 2020, Federer may never get another chance. Therefore, he will do his level best to make sure that he wins the gold for himself and his beautiful nation.

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