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3RD LEAD: Murray wins singles gold, Williams sisters take doubles By George Burns, dpa Eds: Adds mixed doubles, quotes, details

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London (dpa) - Britain‘s Andy Murray gained revenge for his Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer with victory on Sunday in the men‘s Olympic singles final at the All England Club.

Earlier, Venus and Serena Williams had won a third gold medal in the women‘s doubles - defeating Czech pair Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4.

Murray‘s impressive 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 straight-sets victory gave Britain its first men‘s singles Olympic gold medal since Josiah Ritchie in 1908 and denied Switzerland‘s Federer a Golden Slam of all four major titles and an Olympic singles gold.

The victory on Centre Court in front of 13,000 cheering fans came four weeks to the day since Murray lost in four sets to Federer in the Wimbledon final.

"I‘ve had a lot of tough losses in my career, and this is the best way to come back. I‘ll never forget it," said Murray, who climbed through the crowd to the reserved box to celebrate the historic win with his girlfriend Kim Sears, mother Judy and friends.

"In a sport like tennis, it‘s very individualistic, so the people you have around you become extremely important," Murray said.

Fresh from his morale-boosting victory over Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, Murray caused Federer problems from the start, eventually breaking the Swiss in game six and going on to take the first set 6-2 in just 37 minutes.

The turning point came in the third game of the second set, when Murray saved six break points to hold for 3-0.

"We had some really long games in the Wimbledon final and he got them. Today, I converted those chances and it gave me the momentum for the rest of the match," Murray said.

The fight seemed to ebb from Federer, who admitted he was probably emotionally drained following his marathon semi-final defeat of Argentina‘s Juan Martin del Potro - the longest three-set men‘s match of the Open era.

"Potentially that hindered me from playing my very best," he confessed. "I didn‘t win a break point."

Murray‘s game went from strength to strength as Federer‘s challenge faded and the Scot closed out the match on his first gold medal point with an ace.

"When I look back on this match it will be one of the best of my career," the 25-year-old said.

"I have lost some tough matches and had a lot of questions asked about me many times. I‘m glad that today I was able to put in a performance I have been waiting for," he added.

On Court One, del Potro defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in the men‘s bronze-medal match, while Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond won the women‘s doubles bronze, beating Maria Kirelenko and Nadia Petrova of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Later on Centre Court, Murray failed in his attempt to secure two Olympic golds in one day, when he and mixed doubles partner Laura Robson were beaten by Belarusian top seeds Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi.

The British pair lost 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a champions‘ tie-break decider and had to settle for silver.

The chance of achieving a Golden Slam is now probably gone for Federer, who turns 31 on Wednesday - although he could take inspiration from the Williams sisters, who are already looking forward to Rio 2016 in Brazil after securing a third doubles gold.

"We‘re definitely planning on Rio. We‘re going out with a bang in Rio. Hopefully we will make it four, you never know," said Venus, who has slid down the rankings ever since being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease known as Sjogren‘s syndrome last year.

The victory completed a weekend double for Serena, who defeated Russia‘s Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in Saturday‘s singles final - the largest winning margin for a final in Olympic history.

"Venus has been going through so much and she‘s so strong," Serena said. "My goal all year was to win doubles."

"I wanted to win singles, but my main goal was doubles. Gold is a dream come through," she said.

The demolition of Sharapova saw Serena become the sport‘s first double gold medallist at an Olympics since her sister Venus accomplished the feat at Sydney 2000.

The sisters, whose previous Olympics doubles victories came in 2000 and 2008, are also the first players - male or female - to secure four Olympic gold medals, having both won one in singles and two in doubles.

"This is all I wanted. I only had two months to qualify for the Olympics coming way outside the top 100," said Venus, who joins Conchita Martinez of Spain as the only tennis players to win medals at three different Olympics. "That was one of the hardest things I have ever done." dpa gb amh



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