By Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press
Andy Murray is authoritative a addiction of accomplishing things that hadn't been done in a while.
Murray became the aboriginal tennis amateur in Olympic history with two singles gold medals, acceptable his additional in a row by cutting bottomward Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 at the Rio de Janeiro Amateur in a final that lasted a tad added than 4 hours Sunday.
Murray also continued his career-high win band to 18 matches. His aftermost accident came adjoin Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open.
"Anything could accept happened," said Murray, who took the aftermost four amateur afterwards abaft 5-3 in the fourth set.
"Emotionally, it was tough. Physically, it was hard," he said. "So abounding ups and downs."
At the 2012 London Olympics, Murray won a singles gold and alloyed doubles argent at the All England Club. That, of course, was additionally the armpit of his history-making Wimbledon championship in 2013, aback he concluded the hosts' 77-year adjournment for a British man to affirmation the trophy.
Murray won Wimbledon afresh aftermost month, adopting his Grand Slam appellation calculation to three.
The No. 2-seeded Murray stopped the resurgent run of the 141st-ranked del Potro, who agape off No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the aboriginal annular aftermost weekend and No. 3 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals Saturday. No man anytime has defeated the top three seeds on the way to a gold, but 2009 U.S. best del Potro abiding came abutting afore ambagious up with a argent to go alongside his brownish from 2012.
Del Potro had the louder support, and one fan alike yelled article as Murray was about to hit a attempt while two credibility from victory. He put the brawl in the net and glared in the administration the articulation came from. Soon after, a fan cutting a shirt with Argentina's colours was escorted out.
The final provided absolutely a adverse in styles: Murray's agitating returns, bulletproof defence and track-down-every-ball cloister advantage adjoin the 6-foot-6 del Potro's booming serves and bent forehands. Both men are accomplished at accomplishing what they do, and it led to abiding points. Not all were pretty, though, as they accumulated for 102 autogenetic errors, and 85 winners.
They about went to a fifth set, too, because del Potro served for the fourth at 5-4, but was burst there and afresh in the final game.
"Against Andy," del Potro said, "you never apperceive if you're activity to win your serve."
When he dumped a backhand into the net to end the match, Murray angled his arch and angled his amateur as he absolved to the net, attractive added adequate than thrilled. Del Potro trudged alike added boring forward, afresh pulled Murray in for a hug.
They were anniversary on cloister for the fourth beeline day, because rain done out comedy Wednesday, arch organizers to annihilate the 24 hours of blow amid the semifinals and final. Del Potro was the one who looked the worse for abrasion from the accumulated exertion.
He would accept been the lowest-ranked man to be an Olympic tennis gold champ and this would accept been his aboriginal appellation at any clash aback January 2014. A brace of months later, he had the aboriginal of three operations on his larboard wrist that affected him to absence 2 1/2 years' account of Grand Slam tournaments. His aboriginal above clash aback was in June at Wimbledon and he still is not absolutely able to rip two-handed backhands the way he acclimated to, generally relying on righty slices.
"He'd done amazing, really, to get aback to arena and aggressive afresh at this akin afterwards all of the issues he had," Murray said.
By the 10th point of Sunday's match, a 26-stroke barter that concluded with Murray applique a forehand, del Potro already looked spent. He bankrupt his eyes, formed aback his head, ashore out his argot and sucked air. By the fourth game, del Potro was comatose amid credibility abreast the baseline, aptitude advanced with his elbows on his knees, communicable his breath. By the fourth set, he was aptitude on his agitation as if it were a cane.
Early on, del Potro concluded a mesmerizing, 34-stroke point by anguish a forehand winner, afresh boring strolled, chest heaving, and coiled his agitation to ask the admirers for added noise, conceivably acquisitive to adjournment things a bit. His supporters responded dutifully, adopting a altercation with their song of "Ole, ole, ole, ole! Del-po! Del-po!"
At added times, they bounced in abode and shouted in Spanish, "Whoever isn't jumping is English!" (Murray is Scottish, but you get the point.)
Murray's backers would acknowledgment with the hardly added mundane, "Let's go, Andy! Let's go!"
Both abandon prompted afresh requests for blackout from armchair adjudicator Pascal Maria, who additionally warned del Potro for demography too abundant time amid points.
Murray acclimated bead shots generally and, usually, effectively, abacus to the ache on del Potro's body. At the alpha of the additional set, he feathered one that bounced alert afore del Potro could get to it. Del Potro bent the ball, afresh stepped to the net, adequate his elbows on the white band and put his arch on his balled-up fists.
Still, a brace of credibility later, del Potro summoned the backbone for a backhand casual champ that gave him a breach for 1-0. In the actual abutting game, Murray bootless to catechumen three breach points, and that was basically his aftermost adventitious in that set.
But he angry things aback about on his way to authoritative history yet again.
Murray now has a 6-2 career adjoin del Potro, and the two will accommodated afresh in September in the semifinals of the Davis Cup, in Murray's hometown of Glasgow.
Kei Nishikori gave Japan its aboriginal Olympic tennis badge in 86 years, advantageous a mid-match abeyance to exhausted 2008 champion Nadal for the brownish in men's singles at the Rio Games.
Nishikori won the third-place bout 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-3 on Sunday afterwards alarming a 5-2 advance in the additional set. He came into Sunday's bout with a 1-9 career almanac adjoin Nadal.
In 1920, Japan won its alone antecedent Olympic tennis medals, a brace of silvers.
Tennis was one of the aboriginal sports at the avant-garde Olympics in 1896, actual on the agenda until 1924. Afresh it was dropped, afore abiding in 1988.
Nadal does leave Brazil with a gold badge from men's doubles for Spain.
Andy Murray of Britain and Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina are currently arena for gold in the men's singles final.
The Russian tennis duo of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina claimed Olympic gold medals in women's doubles.
The seventh-seeded Russians exhausted fifth-seeded Timea Bacsinszky and Martina Hingis of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4 in the final Sunday.
Bacsinszky and Hingis took silver, and Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic had already won bronze.
Makarova and Vesnina accept won two Grand Slam women's doubles titles together. It's the aboriginal Olympic badge for both.
Hingis won her aboriginal badge at age 35, two decades afterwards her aftermost Olympics.
Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock won the mixed doubles title, abstinent Venus Williams a almanac fifth gold medal.
Mattek-Sands and Sock exhausted Williams and Rajeev Ram 6-7 (3), 6-1, 10-7 (tiebreak) in an all-U.S. final Sunday.
It's the additional badge of the Rio Amateur for Sock, who won brownish in men's doubles with Steve Johnson.
Mattek-Sands and Sock trailed 6-3 in the chief cool tiebreak afresh won six beeline points. Mattek-Sands anticipation they had won on their aboriginal bout point, throwing her agitation in celebration, but Sock's acknowledgment landed aloof long. They bankrupt it out on the abutting point.
Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic clinched brownish beforehand Sunday.