Great Britain’s Andy Murray becomes the first tennis player to win two Olympics singles titles by beating Juan Martian Del Portro in Rio.
Murray, 29, was emotional after his thrilling 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory.
Both him and the Argentine looked spent after the fourth set of a testing encounter, and the two men broke into tears by the sheer emotion of it all.
Murray tried everything against the bigger man: he chipped, lobbed, played soft-ball and hard-ball, wide and deep, but perhaps therein laid the folly.
There had been 15 breaks of service, many of them consecutive, stolen from an astonishing 35 opportunities. 102 unforced errors were made, shared roughly equally, just as game points came and went, squandered mostly.
But by conquering nerves to compensate for dramatic imperfections, Murray managed to pull through in the end.
It was a fight that either could have won amidst the cheers of the 10,000 spectators in attendance. But it ended when Del Portro found the net one time too many, and Murray thus retains the medal he won in London four years ago.
“The fact it’s not been done before shows it’s very hard so I’m proud to have done that,” he said. “Four years is a long time and so many things can change. A lot has changed since 2012, I’m happy here competing for the biggest events.”
Earlier, Kei Nishikori claimed his first Olympic medal by defeating Rafael Nadal.
The latter had looked somewhat drain after winning the men’s doubles gold with compatriot Marc Lopez, but was able to recover from 5-2 down in the second set to equalize, before eventually losing 6-2, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3.