While Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro was looking to cap an improbable run in Sunday’s men’s singles gold medal match, Great Britain’s Andy Murray was looking to make history.
No tennis player had ever won consecutive singles Olympic gold medals, something Murray changed in his four-set win over Del Potro in a hotly-contested match, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. With Murray’s victory Great Britain has now won 17 Olympic gold medals in tennis.
With Del Potro being cheered on by a raucous pro-Argentina crowd, it appeared as if he grabbed control of the match after taking the second set 6-4. But Murray responded in emphatic fashion, breaking Del Potro’s serve twice to take the third set six games to two. The fourth set would be very tight, with Del Potro having opportunities to push the match to a fifth and final set. But Murray responded the way one would expect a champion to, ultimately winning the set seven games to five.
Del Potro’s silver medal represents the best finish for Argentina in men’s singles, with his bronze four years ago being the best prior to Sunday night. He defeated two of the best players in the world on his way to the gold medal match in Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Taking bronze in men’s singles was Kei Nishikori of Japan, who defeated Nadal 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-3. Nishikori’s bronze is Japan’s third Olympic tennis medal in the nation’s history, with the other two both being won during the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp.