Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/3/12
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When Roger Federer had finally outlasted Juan Martin del Potro on Friday to win a 19-17 third set and the longest tennis match in Olympic history, he rested his hands on the net and let out weary sigh of relief. "It was just an emotional drain," he said afterward. "I was just drained and very tired and very relieved and happy. It was a mixture of all of those things." The win and the guarantee it gives Switzerland for its first medal of these Olympics -- including a shot Sunday at gold in a rematch against Andy Murray -- was as thrilling, difficult, emotional and exhilarating an experience as Federer might experience the rest of his glittering career. It was also a glimpse into his final tennis battle, one that he cannot win. Despite his surprise Wimbledon victory last month, Federer has long since entered the phase of his career in which he must battle time as much as his opponents. There are Djokovic and Nadal and Murray and 23-year-olds like del Potro to worry about, yes, but...
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