I loved Andy's reaction to winning the Olympic Gold. It looked to me like he couldn't quite take it in at first. I loved the way he instinctively went to be with all of the team. They really do see everything, the ups and downs, the wins, the losses, and they have the job of putting him back together, helping him be the best he can be. I'd like to think Lendl was watching somewhere, because although he couldn't honestly take much satisfaction out of a GB Gold in itself, I'd love to think he would take satisfaction from the way Andy played, both in the semi and the final. Rarely, if ever before, have I seen Andy play in such a way that responded so beautifully to any inkling of threat. It was like he went out there and made it quite clear that he was winning and no one was going to take it away from him, no one. Look at all the break point chances Federer had in the final. Andy could have caved, could have gone in to his shell and reverted to defensive play, which is what Federer might have expected. Instead, with his game, Andy seemed to say, 'You can get off, this is MINE', and he came through. It was awesome, absolutely breathtaking. It chokes me up to think of it.
I agree teejay, it was amazing watching Andy play with so much self-belief. He won the match against Federer - Federer didn't give it to him. No matter how tired Federer might have been feeling after his semi-final, if Andy had given him any chance to get back into the match, he'd have taken it. After all, Federer actually started the match really well and if Andy had played passively then the result would have been different. It was the same in the semi-final against Novak - Andy was so mentally tough in the important moments and believed in his game.
It really does feel like Andy's taken a huge step forward over the last month. Wimbledon itself was very important, as Andy faced and dealt with many tough moments in his matches and played with confidence throughout. Then the Wimbledon final, where he played his most confident slam final yet, and more importantly used a more aggressive gameplan than before. His reaction to losing in a slam final has been his best yet - he's used the disappointment as motivation and to win the Olympics shows just how far he's come. Hopefully he's now ready to take the next step and win his first slam.