Federer Happy With His Silver Medal
Roger's press conference was very good (read it HERE); he was very proud of getting the silver medal and he was genuinely happy with Murray getting the gold, even at his own expense.
I think Roger understands what Murray has had to go through in his career because Roger's early career was the same way. He had very high expectations placed on him as a future Grand Slam champion, and it took him a while to piece it together (Wimbledon 2003 being the culmination). Now, Murray seems to have gotten by his demons with a new-found maturity and self-belief that was not there one year ago. Murray, like Roger did, has tremendous pressure on his shoulders and has now for a very long time, with them probably being even bigger because the Grand Slam drought for Great Britain has been so long.
So Federer knows the feeling of what it's like to exorcise those demons. You can say Murray hasn't conquered them yet, but it certainly looks like he's well on his way (he looks like he'll pick up the US Open or one of the four next year).
Federer gave everything he had at these Olympics, and he walked away with something he has never gotten before - an Olympic singles medal. I think after the hard-fought matches against Falla and Delpo, he realized just how special being assured of a medal was. And with his body and mind being pretty spent going into the gold medal match, he found comfort in a silver medal. And why wouldn't he find comfort in that?
Some more thoughts on the final:
First and foremost, let me say this: Andy Murray was at his best, and there was likely going to be no stopping him, no matter what version of Roger Federer was on the other side of the net (with the exception perhaps being God Mode Fed).
The lopsided scoreline, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, was as much about Federer's obvious exhaustion as it was about Murray's consistently attacking, aggressive tennis. Think of it this way: with Federer anywhere close to his best, do you think he would have lost that badly? Just look back at Wimbledon where, when both Federer and Murray were playing their best ball, it was a tight 4-set match decided by a few points here and there in each set. In the gold medal match, there was only one real point where the match could have changed - the game at 2-0 in the second set where Roger had six break point chances.
I wish that the match could have been more competitive - not just for Fed but for the fans' sake as well. There were some great matches during the tournament and it ended with an anticlimax in terms of quality of play. That brings me to my next point....
Should there be a tiebreaker in final sets at the 2016 Games in Brazil? The final would have been much better had Roger shown up with his brilliant play, but he was partially unable to do that because he played 4 and a half hours and went 19-17 against del Potro two days earlier. While I do enjoy the excitement of a must-hold service game to keep yourself in the match, there is also just as much excitement in a one-point-changes-everything tiebreak, where so much can ride on one point.
Delpo Wins Bronze
After the marathon match against Roger, I had my doubts that del Potro would be able to beat Djokovic. He proved me wrong emphatically by taking out Nole in straight sets to claim his first medal at the Olympics (Djokovic won bronze in Beijing). After the emotion poured out at the end of the semi, it almost seemed like destiny that he would win.
Ever since the Davis Cup final last year where he went down heroically to Nadal, I have pulled for Delpo to get back to his peak form of late 2009. If he finds that form again, and he may have just found it at thesee Olympics, then all I can say is watch out. With the US Open right around the corner, the big Argentine could be a massive threat to take out one of the top four.
Toronto is being played this week and quite frankly, with Federer and Nadal not there, it doesn't feel the same. Here is hoping that a guy like Tsonga or del Potro can break through and win - it would be good for the Tour. After all, since the start of 2011, only Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, and Federer have won Masters events.