Andy Murray became the first tennis player in history to defend their Olympic title after a remarkable four sets victory over Juan Martin Del Potro at Rio 2016.
The 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win came in just over four hours as Murray added Rio 2016 gold to his London 2012 singles victory and mixed doubles silver.
With a total of 15 breaks of serve across the four sets, including seven in the last, both men had their chances as they slugged out a modern classic in front of a boisterous centre court crown in the Olympic Park.
The gold completes a memorable Games for the 29-year-old who led Team GB into the Opening Ceremony after being nominated Flagbearer – the first British tennis player to do so.
Tonight was one of the hardest matches that I’ve had to play for a big title," said Murray.
"Emotionally it was tough, physically it was hard with so many ups and downs in the match.
"The fact that it has never been done before shows it’s a very difficult thing to do and I’m very proud to have been the first one to have done it.
"It’s not easy especially in four years for a tennis player. I had back surgery since London and so many things can change - my ranking dropped and I’ve gone through some tough times off the court, so I’m happy that I’m still here competing for the big events.
"Carrying the flag was an amazing experience and I found it quite emotional. The day after I had to regroup and get my mind on the matches so to finish it with a match like that was very emotional too. I’m just very happy that I got over the line tonight."
A ding-dong first set saw five breaks of serve on the slow surface with Murray eventually pulling through 7-5.
However Del Potro, who’s ended the runs of both Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal in Rio, piled on the pressure early in the second and broke in the first game.
With the Argentinian support vocal throughout, Del Potro held his nerve to take the second set 6-4, forcing Murray onto the back foot with a string of monstrous forehands.
Murray though is never one to crumble and responded in kind in the third, breaking twice to quieten the crowd and take the set.
Both men traded five breaks from the first seven games but Murray finally edged in front with the final game to take the set and a dramatic win.