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Roger Federer gets his gold medal

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BEIJING -- Roger Federer got his gold medal at the Olympics, but not exactly in the way he, or anyone else, expected.

Federer teamed with fellow Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka to take the men’s doubles gold Saturday night, beating a Swedish team of Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

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Federer was the best player on the court, but Wawrinka held up well against a Swedish team that had gotten into the match with a 19-17 third-set endurance test over a French team Friday.

The bronze went to the top-ranked team in the world, Bob and Mike Bryan from the United States and Camarillo. They beat Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Fittingly, the gold-medal match was on Federer’s racket. He served at 5-3 of the fourth set, 2 hours 59 minutes into the final. He got it to 40-15, hit a wide serve to Johansson and watched the return float wide. Then he jumped in the air three times like a 10-year-old.

At the medals ceremony, when they played the Swiss national anthem and Federer and Wawrinka stood on the highest platform, both were clearly on the edge of tears.

In three tries, Federer, for years the top singles player in the world and the winner of 12 major titles, has failed to win a medal in Olympic singles. Turns out, he was just playing in the wrong event.

-- Bill Dwyre


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