Olympic Flashback: Roger Federer and Stan Wawinka take gold medal

After a surprising loss to Tomas Berdych in Athens 2004, Roger Federer came to Beijing Olympics as one of the favorites to win the men’s singles gold medal. Still, James Blake spoiled his plans in the quarter-final, and Roger turned to doubles action alongside Stan Wawrinka. Roger and Stan went all the way to claim the gold medal for Switzerland and earn Olympic glory. The Swiss duo defeated Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in the quarters before stunning Bob and Mike Bryan in the semi-final. Thus, the Swiss pair advanced into the title match against Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson, who prevailed over Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra in four hours and 46 minutes! After that thrilling victory over the Bryan brothers, Roger and Stan were pumped and motivated to make one final push and grab the gold on August 16.

They ousted the Swedes 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 thanks to Roger’s service winner in the final point. The Swiss pair earned the first break in game four and closed the opener after an excellent hold from Roger in game nine for 6-3. They scored one break in set number two for 6-4, serving better than the Swedes and making fewer errors. Johansson and Aspelin finally broke at the beginning of the third set to gain momentum. However, it was short-lived, as they lost serve in the next game after three double faults! The Swedes won the tie break 7-4 to prolong the encounter for at least one more set. It was all they could do, though, as Wawrinka and Federer scored a break in the fourth set’s fourth game. They kept the advantage until the end and earned Olympic glory. This medal came at the perfect moment for Roger, who was about to lose the no. 1 spot to Rafael Nadal two days later, stepping down from the ATP throne for the first time in four and a half years.

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka claimed the doubles gold medal in Beijing 2008.

“It’s not the first time this tournament or in my life that I had to serve for a big match. But it changed a bit in doubles, where you are sometimes not in control because guys usually go for huge returns. When Stan held his serve easily to send up 5-2 up, I knew it was all up to me if we did not break. It’s the moment you dream of being in, even though there is so much pressure. I had to go through a few second serves to win the game, making it even harder. We played fantastic tennis, and it’s a dream come true, almost disbelief to some degree. I grew up being a team player and always have been.

I love team competitions: basketball and soccer; it’s always something I’ve enjoyed doing. It was the greatest thing for me when I was in my first Davis Cup when I was maybe 16. Having a good atmosphere in the team is essential, and that’s what we have. We had such a good understanding of each other today on the court and throughout two weeks. It’s something we have been trying to build up for many years, especially the last month, talking a lot about how we would like to play doubles. Ultimately, it becomes such a sweet victory; it’s fantastic. I have always enjoyed playing doubles. I have not played it that much lately because the focus was on singles. But I still enjoy doing it, especially at the important stages. It’s way different from celebrating it alone in the pool,” Roger Federer said.