Federer-Murray: Dissecting the Significance of the Olympic Finals

Nick NemeroffCorrespondent IIAugust 4, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08:  Roger Federer of Switzerland and Andy Murray of Great Britain toss the coin prior to their Gentlemen's Singles final match on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Roger Federer and Andy Murray are set to provide tennis fans around the world with a sense of deja vu that is striking in both its immediacy and significance.

As they did just four short Sundays ago, Federer and Murray will engage in what promises to be a clash for the ages on the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon's Centre Court, the utmost premiere and enshrined stage the tennis world has to offer.

But this time, the prize is vastly different.   

An Olympic singles gold medal is a stake.  Something so rare, not even Roger Federer has laid claim to one.

The value of this match cannot be understated.  What is up for grabs is absolutely huge for both men.  

Both Federer and Murray have a ton to lose.  But this seemingly demonic notion of failure is contrasted by the sensational fruits of victory. 

So what exactly does this match mean to each man?  What is there to lose—and gain—other than the cherished gold medal?


A Final Beckoning for Federer

"So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man's genius contracts itself to a very few hours. " 

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Federer's accomplishments are illustrious and unmistakable.  But in all this greatness, one accomplishment he has been deprived from is the Olympic gold medal.

This match may not present itself as Federer's last to grab Olympic gold, but it has to be regarded as his best.

Federer may still be very much present when 2016 rolls around, but the potential of these limitations and uncertainties fosters a sense of remarkable urgency—it is a deed which must be followed upon now, no questions asked.

Four weeks after winning Wimbledon, Federer is granted a golden opportunity to gain Olympic gold at the venue that has yielded some of the Swiss Maestro's most profound and memorable moments as a tennis player.

As a player who thrives and embraces the grass like no other, Federer recognizes that this is truly one of the most fabulous chances of his career.

The hours, days, months and years of preparation and work Federer has injected into molding himself into the legendary champion we know today is for matches like this.

The blood, sweat and tears on and off the court, the tremendous amount of sacrifice, all boils down to several critical hours of high-octane performance—a routine Federer has successfully carried out time and time again throughout the duration of his career.


A Swift Revenge and a Perfect Victory for Murray

"Every failure made me more confident. Because I wanted even more to achieve as revenge. To show that I could."

- Roman Polanski 

The emotional roller coaster Andy Murray has been riding over the last month will ascend to its final peak Sunday morning as the Briton hopes to capture Olympic gold in front of his home nation.

For Murray, defeating Federer would symbolize the most idealized of victories.

To extract such a perfect revenge against Federer would be the ultimate reversal of fortunes from their epic encounter at Wimbledon.

For Murray, an Olympic title would represent a defining accomplishment, the most paramount of his career by far.

To bring home gold in front of the British crowd, whose emotional attachment to Murray has escalated exponentially, would be a dream come true for Murray.

As Polanski alludes, Murray wants to prove his worth to the world, a well of untapped potential.

The loss to Federer at Wimbledon has ignited an unbounded thirst for irreversible glory, one Murray would like to see quenched.  


An Occasion for the Ages

"Great moments ... are born from great opportunity"

- Herb Brooks

Simply put, regardless of the champion, a beautiful moment is in the making.  

The importance of this single match is undeniable.

The stakes are as high as they have ever been. 

Sit back and enjoy what promises to be a duel to remember.