Rio 2016 saw Great Britain’s Andy Murray become the first player to win back-to-back Olympic singles titles in tennis, a sport that featured on the programme between 1896 and 1924 and had demonstration status from 1968 to 1984 before making a full return to the Games at Seoul 1988. Victorious against Roger Federer in the London 2012 final, Murray, who was his country’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony in Rio, retained his title with a gruelling four-set victory over Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro. In outlasting his dogged opponent to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, the Scot wrote his name in the Olympic record books.
“Emotionally, it was tough. Physically, it was hard,” said a fatigued but elated Murray afterwards. “There were so many ups and downs in the match. We both had our chances and it was one of the toughest matches that I’ve played to win a big event, for sure. I’m just happy I came out on top. I’ve had some tough defeats in these last couple of years, losing Grand Slam finals. Obviously, I’ve also managed to win a few big tournaments, which says a lot about my game.”
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