Many fans and pundits did not have high expectations for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but their fears were not confirmed, as Rio 2016 turned out to be tennis that was full of passion, national pride, and close matches in both singles and doubles.
Andy Murray of course took home the men’s singles gold, he added to what was an astounding day for Great Britain overall, and became the first player to win two Olympic singles gold medals. The world #2 had a few close matches this week, but his four set final win over Juan Martin Del Potro was well deserved as he earned clutch breaks to stave off a fifth set, and eventually take the match. Murray now has a Wimbledon title and an Olympic Gold this year, although he hasn’t gotten as much attention this season, he’s had a great one.
Pica Power and Del Potro Power, The Story of 2016 Rio Olympic Tennis
Del Potro and Rafael Nadal are still the stories of the Men’s side of the tournament though. Both veterans played like warriors this week, and overcame injury concerns to fight back and show a level of tennis they hadn’t showed in years. Del Potro, pumped up by a boisterous South American crowd in Rio, pummeled his forehand to a massive win over Novak Djokovic in two tiebreaks. Djokovic didn’t have the same kind of energy Del Potro showed in the match, and left the court heartbroken as he was denied a medal despite being the world #1.
Del Potro would not have an easy match all week, but when the going got tough and he looked down and out, the crowd rallied to his side, and JDMP found a way. Against Nadal in the semifinals, he managed to deal with Nadal’s incredible movement and returning, and although he blew chances to finish out the match, he eventually prevailed in a tight third set tiebreak.