Murray thrashes Federer to win Olympic gold

Britain's Andy Murray completed an astonishing recovery from last month's Wimbledon heartache to thrash Switzerland's Roger Federer and claim Olympic gold on Centre Court on Sunday.

Exactly four weeks after Federer had beaten him to take a 17th grand slam title on the same court, reducing Murray to tears in the process, the Scot returned with an army of flag-waving fans to demolish the world number one 6-2 6-1 6-4.

With the din shaking the tennis citadel to its foundations, Murray clambered into the seats to embrace his girlfriend, parents and coaching team before sprinting back to the hallowed turf, leaping into the air as the crowd went wild.

"This is the biggest win of my life," world number four Murray, who is still to win a grand slam title, told the BBC.

"This is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final ... I felt so fresh."

A crestfallen Federer walked off the court where he won seven Wimbledon crowns, knowing defeat had virtually ended his chances of completing the "golden career slam" - all four grand slam titles and the Olympic singles crown - as he will be 34 when the Games moves on to Rio de Janeiro in four years.

The decibel level went up another notch as the players returned to court for the medal ceremony - this time Murray holding back the tears with more success as "God Save the Queen" rang out for Britain's 16th gold of the Games.

Apart from going 15-40 down in the first game of the match Murray was as close to perfection it is possible to be on a tennis court, producing a display of power, precision and touch that not even Federer could match.

From the moment that Murray moved 4-2 ahead in the first set he barely gave Federer a look-in, rattling off nine games in a row to seize complete control of the final.

Murray went for the jugular in the third set, breaking for a 3-2 lead with a searing backhand and marched on to victory with chants of "Andy, Andy" ringing around the court.

Federer offered a little late resistance but was powerless to prevent his worst loss at Wimbledon since 2002 when he was beaten in straight sets by Croatia's Mario Ancic.

Murray can later become the first British tennis player to win two gold medals at the same Games since John Boland in 1896 if he triumphs in the mixed doubles final with Laura Robson.

In the men's bronze medal match earlier in the day, Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro defeated Serbian Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-4.

Del Potro, whose semi-final loss to top seed Roger Federer on Friday was the longest men's three-set match played in the professional era, broke late in a rain-interrupted first set to take the lead against Beijing bronze medallist Djokovic.

The number two seed fell behind early in the second set, with the tall Argentinian serving to wrap up the win in 1 hour and 48 minutes.