The result was a royal rout. Murray swept nine consecutive games, breaking Federer’s serve four times in a row.
The victory marked a breakthrough for the Scotsman, who has lost all four of his Grand Slam finals, three against Federer.
For Federer, the drubbing marked another Olympic disappointment. Playing in the games for the fourth time, he sought a victory to complete a career Golden Slam but still earned his first singles medal.
From the start, there was no doubting spectators’ loyalty. The retractable Centre Court roof opened shortly before the final, and Federer walked onto the sun-splashed grass to a standing ovation. Then Murray entered, and the roar tripled.
At the far end of the All England Club, thousands of happy fans with grounds passes enjoyed a carnival atmosphere on the picnic hill known as Murray Mount while watching the match on a huge video screen.
Federer wore red and Murray blue in the most colorful tournament ever held at Wimbledon. Their tactics were also in sharp contrast.
Murray returned aggressively to repeatedly put on Federer on the defensive when serving. Federer tried to come forward more than in any match this summer, but Murray answered with a succession of crisp passing shots for winners.
The fans loved it, waving Union Jacks of all sizes. “An-dy! An-dy” they chanted. They applauded when Federer won a point, but they roared when Murray won one.
And the bounces seemed to go Murray’s way. One of his service breaks came when he hit winners that clipped the net cord on consecutive points. But then the net, after all, was British.
Federer showed little frustration as the match slipped away. Instead, it was Murray tossing his racket in the second set when he made a rare error.
Otherwise, the usually dour Scotsman had little to get upset about. When he netted an easy forehand on break point early in the match, he laughed at his mistake.
Murray won with plenty of flair and a succession of spectacular shots. A lunging backhand pass in the corner had fans on their feet. And he erased a break point with an acrobatic leaping overhead, followed by an improbable reflex volley winner after Federer fired at him from point-blank range.
Murray fell behind 15-40 serving in the opening game but rallied to hold, and from 2-all he took charge, winning every game until 5-0 in the second set.
Federer struggled to hold but had his chances to break, including in the third game of the second set. He held six break points but Murray erased them all and won the game on the 20th point on an errant Federer backhand, one of many.