Rio 2016: Murray defends singles gold after pulsating Del Potro final


Andy Murray defended his men's singles title at the Olympics, overcoming Juan Martin del Potro in a thrilling final at Rio 2016 on Sunday.

The Brit became the first player to win back-to-back singles gold medals thanks to his 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory at a loud Olympic Tennis Centre on Sunday.

Murray, a three-time grand-slam champion, was patchy during the final, but still proved too good for a tiring Del Potro.

The Argentinian, still on the comeback trail following wrist surgeries, enjoyed a memorable run to the decider, beating Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Del Potro produced another brave performance despite showing signs of fatigue, but was eventually beaten after four hours and two minutes of pulsating tennis.

Both players struggled to hold early on as Murray moved Del Potro around at will, dictating points from the back of the court.

He twice gave up breaks, but found the perfect time to regain his advantage.

A brilliant backhand pass down the line - his 14th winner of the set - saw Murray convert his second set point to take the opener 7-5.

Del Potro produced a pass of his own to break in the opening game of the second set to bring the rowdy Argentine fans in the crowd to life.

While he had appeared to be tiring, he managed to hold onto that break as his pure power, and a drop in level from Murray, saw him square the match.

Murray responded, however, breaking in the sixth game of the third set and again to take it, this time with a clean return forehand cross-court winner.

The opening four games of the fourth set went against serve before Del Potro served for it, only to be broken after an exhausting 10th game.

Murray then held to ensure Del Potro had to serve to stay in the match and, although he saved one match point, he sliced the second into the net to give Murray the win before the pair embraced warmly at the net.

Earlier, Spain's Rafael Nadal fought back from a set and 5-2 down in the bronze medal match against Kei Nishikori, but eventually succumbed to a 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 defeat to the Japanese.