In a match that took a record four hours and 26 minutes to complete, Federer finally came out on top. It didn’t always seem that he was going to advance to the men’s singles final, though.
Del Potro would put Federer in a very tight spot after the first set, where Federer fell 3-6. Facing elimination in the second set, Federer was very close to going home early, as the set was tied 5-5. Federer would win the next game, but then Del Potro responded with a win of his own. Federer would eventually take the set, giving himself just a little bit of breathing room.
The third and final set was as exciting as you’ll ever see in a singles tennis match. Game after game, no one could take a commanding lead, as Federer and del Potro would enter extra games.
Back and forth, still neither Federer nor del Potro could do much, as the other would just respond in the next game. Both had the opportunity to eliminate the other, but neither could accomplish that feat until Federer finally knocked del Potro out in the 36th game.
One of the keys for Federer's massive victory to advance to the final was his great serving. He was 68 percent accurate on his first serve and 96 percent accurate on his second while having 24 aces over del Potro. Federer was also successful when he wasn’t serving and had a 75 percent winning percentage on the first serve overall. On the second serve, he won 62 percent of chances.
Even when Federer was down, he never gave up, and that is what it is going to take to win in the London final.
Federer will face one of two opponents who he’s very familiar with, either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray. In June, Federer defeated Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals and then Murray in the final, both of which were great matches.
Federer knows how to beat Djokovic and Murray, and they know how to beat him, but this performance shows that Federer is confident and ready to take on any challenge.
Sometimes it takes a little push to get the adrenaline pumping, and that’s exactly what this match did for Federer. In a few days, no one will ever be able to say that Roger Federer never won an Olympic singles gold medal. It’s just destined to happen.