A month after summoning a passionate, tearful, on-court, post-match speech following his loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon, Andy Murray ascended into the friends’ box at tennis’ hallowed ground.
The Scot, a member of team GB, surmounted Mount Olympus, throttling Federer, his Grand Slam nemesis, to win the gold medal at the 2012 London Games.
Murray, who won the first set against Federer during their July 8 Wimbledon final, jumped all over the all-time Slam king again. Then, Murray showed his gold-medal mettle in the second set, staving off six Federer break-point attempts to command a 3-0 lead. With the Swiss largely lifeless following his 19-17 third-set win against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals, Murray, who took out world No. 2 Novak Djokovic in his semi, never looked back.
He punctuated his 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 dismantling of Federer — the seven-time Wimby champion was truly unsettled, outpointed in virtually every aspect on Sunday — with an ace down the T. Murray’s moment left Federer flummoxed on a surface the Swiss has largely lorded over in a manner reminiscent of arch-enemy Rafael Nadal beat down during the 2008 French Open final.
Having etched his name in Olympic gold — and tarnishing Roger’s glittering career resume with singles’ silver — Murray can now set his sights on attaining a first Grand Slam title.
Or has he already? Has the ghost of Fred Perry, the last Brit to win Wimbledon, back in 1936, officially been exorcised from the All-England Club with Murray’s triumph? Many British traditionalists no doubt believe that Perry’s spirit still lurks within the statue that bears his likeness at SW19.
But John McEnroe, who called NBC’s last serving of “Breakfast at Wimbledon” alongside his once and future French Open friend Ted Robinson, is not alone in his belief that Olympic on-court action warrants major status.
Murray — his Games’ greatness officially secures his passage into tennis’ Big 4 club alongside Fed, Djoker and Rafa — can render that argument moot at the U.S. Open in three weeks.