RIO DE JANEIRO: Britain’s Andy Murray became the first tennis player to win two Olympic singles titles by beating Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in Rio.
An emotional Murray, 29, secured a thrilling 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory to round up Britain’s most successful day at an overseas Games with five gold medals.
The see-saw match featured 14 breaks of serve in front of a raucous crowd.
Murray’s win comes five weeks after he claimed his second Wimbledon title and four years after London 2012 success.
Both men looked physically exhausted in the fourth set of a gruelling four-hour contest, and Murray broke down in tears when he finished off a gritty and determined Del Potro.
The crowd on Centre Court were boisterous throughout, with plenty of Argentinian support for Del Potro, although emotions did spill over near the climax when two fans were ejected.
The 27-year-old, a 2009 US Open champion and bronze medallist at London 2012, beat world number one Novak Djokovic in the first round, after being stuck in a lift for 40 minutes, and defeated 2008 Olympic gold winner Rafael Nadal in an epic three-hour semi-final.
But in the final he came up against a player having a career-defining run.
After inspiring Britain to a first Davis Cup win in 79 years in November, Murray was voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, before going on to reach the Australian and French Open finals and winning Wimbledon for the second time.
He also became a father earlier this year and led GB out at the opening ceremony of Rio 2016 as his country’s flag bearer.
On the court, he has lost just one of his past 30 matches, a run stretching back six months, and has been world number two since November, barring a one-week drop to third in May.
Nadal, 30, who had already won men’s doubles gold, recovered from 5-2 down in the second set to level the match, but lost 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 6-3.
British medal rush
14:30 (BST): Max Whitlock, gymnastics floor exercise – Gold
15:02: Nick Dempsey, windsurfing – Silver
15:46: Justin Rose, golf – Gold
16:13: Max Whitlock, pommel horse – Gold
16:13: Louis Smith, pommel horse – Silver
17:52: Jason Kenny, cycling sprint – Gold
17:52: Callum Skinner, cycling sprint – Silver
21:04: Andy Murray, tennis singles – Gold