Just four weeks after breaking down in tears when Federer shattered his hopes of a first Wimbledon title, Murray returned to Centre Court to rout the Swiss great in just one hour and 56 minutes. Murray, who has denied Federer a coveted first singles gold, could yet finish the Games with two gold medals as he will be back in action in the mixed doubles final with partner Laura Robson against Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus later on Sunday.
It is the greatest moment of Murray's career to date and just reward for an astonishing display that must rank alongside the best ever seen on the sport's most hallowed court. The 25-year-old Scot, beaten in three Grand Slam finals by Federer, has been in superb form all week, but even he can't have dreamed he would win gold like this.
Not only did the world number four do it by beating the Swiss for the first time since 2010, Murray also handed the 17-time Grand Slam winner his heaviest defeat in a major final since Rafael Nadal thrashed him for the loss of just four games in the 2008 French Open final.
For Federer, a doubles gold medallist with Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008, this final was meant to be the crowning glory of his career. Instead, Federer, who will be 35 by the time the Rio Games are in full swing in 2016, may wonder if he will ever get a chance to win the Golden Slam of all four majors and singles gold.
Murray had hoped the final would be staged with the Centre Court roof open as he felt his Wimbledon defeat was in part due to Federer thriving after a switch to indoor play when rain hit when the match was level at one-set all.