Olympics 2012: Andy Murray drubs Roger Federer for gold

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At the far end of the All England Club, thousands of fans with grounds passes enjoyed a carnival atmosphere on the picnic hill known as Murray Mount while watching the match on a huge video screen.

Federer wore red and Murray blue in the most colorful tournament ever held at Wimbledon. Their tactics were also in sharp contrast.

Murray returned aggressively to repeatedly put Federer on the defensive when serving. Federer tried to come forward more than in any match this summer, but Murray answered with a succession of crisp passing shots for winners.

Andy looked like he was never doubting himself,” Federer said. “He had a clear plan.”

The fans loved it, waving British flags of all sizes. “An-dy! An-dy” they chanted. They applauded when Federer won a point, but they boomed when Murray won one.

And the bounces seemed to go Murray’s way. One of his service breaks came when he hit winners that clipped the net cord on successive points. But then the net, after all, was British.

Altogether Federer dropped serve five times, surprising anywhere but especially on grass. He also lost 15 of 33 points when he went to the net, often watching groundstrokes by Murray whiz past out of reach.

“That’s the best part of his game,” Federer said. “If he doesn’t do those passing shots, he’s not going to win gold.”

The impassive Swiss showed little frustration as the match slipped away. Instead, it was Murray tossing his racket in the second set when he made a rare error.

Otherwise, Murray had little to get upset about. When he netted an easy forehand on break point early in the match, he laughed at his mistake.

“I felt so fresh,” he said. “I didn’t feel nervous really at all, apart from at the beginning of the match.”

He won with plenty of flair and a succession of spectacular shots. A lunging backhand pass in the corner had fans on their feet. And he erased a break point with an acrobatic leaping overhead, followed by an improbable reflex volley winner after Federer fired at him from point-blank range.

Murray fell behind 15-40 serving in the opening game but rallied to hold, and from 2-all he took charge, winning every game until 5-0 in the second set.

Federer struggled to hold but had many chances to break, including in the third game of the second set. He held six break points but Murray erased them all and won the game on the 20th point on an errant Federer backhand, one of many.

Federer, taxed by his 19-17 third-set semifinal win Friday, couldn’t summon a comeback. Murray hurried to the finish line, winning the final set in 33 minutes.

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