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Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:58 UK

Nadal beats Gonzalez to take gold

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Nadal claims gold for Spain

Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal kept up a remarkable year for Spanish sport by beating Chile's Fernando Gonzalez 6-3 7-6 6-3 to win the men's tennis gold.

Having eased to the first set, Nadal saved two set points in the second to force a tie-break, which he won 7-2.

Early breaks of serve in the third set gave Nadal vital momentum and from that point Gonzalez was on the back foot.

Nadal won it on his fourth match point, when Gonzalez's attempt to return his forehand drive went into the net.

The gold medal was the first ever for Spain in Olympic tennis.

"I just want to enjoy this moment because I'm having an unbelievable year," Nadal said.

"It's more than my best dreams so I want to enjoy the moment. I know how difficult it is to win these things. Winning here for me is unbelievable."

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Gonzalez added silver to his singles bronze and doubles gold from Athens 2004.

"The Olympics means really a lot to me," he said. "I'm little bit sad about the match, but all things considered, I'm really happy."

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Video - Nadal thrilled with Olympic title

Nadal was already assured of taking over the number one ranking on Monday for the first time, ending Roger Federer's reign after four-and-a-half years.

Hel has won 38 of his past 39 matches, including victories over Federer in the finals at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Men's singles has traditionally been an upset-filled event at the Olympics, and Nadal is the first player ranked in the top five to win gold.




see also
Dementieva secures singles gold
17 Aug 08 |  Tennis
Djokovic beats Blake for bronze
16 Aug 08 |  Tennis
Nadal to face Gonzalez in final
15 Aug 08 |  Tennis


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