The Team GB flag bearer edged a pulsating encounter 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-5 to notch his second Olympic gold and further underline his credentials as one of tennis’ greatest ever players.
Murray added a fifth gold for GB on a day that also saw Max Whitlock claim a gymnastics double, Justin Rose clinch the golf title and Jason Kenny win the men’s sprint crown. Giles Scott also guaranteed himself gold in the Finn class, although he must wait until Tuesday for his coronation.
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The world No.2 kept his opponent guessing with superb variety in the early stages, but any hopes of cantering to victory were dispelled when Del Potro roared back from losing the opening set to level.
Del Potro, who ousted Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal en route to the final, faded in the third set as Murray took it 6-2, before charging again in a riveting fourth.
The pair appeared allergic to service holds as breaks suddenly littered the contest, with Murray cracking Del Potro as the world No.141 served for the set and immediately breaking again to win.
Both players were visibly emotional at the conclusion as Brazilian, Argentinean and the odd smattering of British fans stood to salute them after their titanic tussle.
Andy Murray (GBR) of Britain celebrates after winning his match against Juan Martin Del Potro
Image credit: Reuters
Murray heads to the US Open in fine form, unbeaten since his reunification with coach Ivan Lendl, and seeking his fourth Grand Slam title.
His triumph at London 2012 catapulted him amongst the tennis elite, with his resulting four-year journey seeing him capture a US Open, two Wimbledon crowns and a Davis Cup before his success in Rio.
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