WIMBLEDON, England — Andy Murray stood with the Union Jack draped over his shoulders, an Olympic gold medal around his neck, flanked by the man he had just beaten, Roger Federer, and basking in the roar of the Centre Court crowd.
No wonder the often dour Scotsman was grinning.
Murray won one for the home team Sunday, beating Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the tennis final at Wimbledon.
The victory marked a career breakthrough for Murray. He has lost all four of his Grand Slam finals, three against Federer, including Wimbledon a month ago.
“It has been the best week of my tennis career by a mile,” Murray said. “I’ve had a lot of tough losses. This is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final. I’ll never forget it.”
For Federer, the drubbing marked another Olympic disappointment. Playing in the Games for the fourth time, he sought a victory to complete a career Golden Slam but settled for silver — his first singles medal.
“Don’t feel too bad for me,” Federer said. “I felt like I won my silver, I didn’t lose it. So I feel really happy.”
Murray swept nine consecutive games to take control, breaking Federer’s serve four times in a row, his inspired play a reflection of raucous crowd support. He erased all nine break points he faced.
“He never looked back,” Federer said. “His credit for getting in the lead and using the crowd to come through. He did an unbelievable job.”
The match capped the most memorable Olympics for tennis since it returned to the Games in 1988 after a 64-year absence. The event transformed staid Wimbledon into a more festive place.
Murray became the first British man to win the gold in singles since Josiah Ritchie in 1908. Those games took place at Wimbledon, too.
Read more: ESPN