By Kylie MacLellan
LONDON (Reuters) - Roger Federer missed out on bagging an elusive Olympic tennis singles gold to complete his vast trophy collection, but the 17-times grand slam champion doesn't want any sympathy.
Federer, who goes home with silver after a 6-2 6-1 6-4 thrashing at the hands of Britain's Andy Murray at Wimbledon on Sunday, is still pretty happy.
"I felt like I won my silver, I didn't lose it," he said.
"For me, it's been a great month. I won Wimbledon, became world number one again, and I got silver. Don't feel too bad for me," said Federer, who already had a doubles gold from Beijing.
"I'm really happy and pleased. I know that sounds strange as people are so used to me winning and probably only winning makes me happy, but I'm a happy tennis player so a good result like this is obviously going to make me feel extremely proud and very happy."
The Games wasn't plain sailing for top seed Federer, who survived an early scare in his first round match, dropping a set against Alejandro Falla before clawing back to defeat the Colombian.
Then there was his epic semi-final battle against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, which stretched to 19-17 in the final set and at four hours and 25 minutes was the longest men's three-set match played in the professional era.
"I had tears in my eyes after my first-round match, believe it or not... this is how much this meant to me. I understood how close I was from losing. Then there was no doubt about it, I felt the same way exactly after the semis.
The 30-year-old, making his fourth Olympic appearance, hasn't ruled out the chance of having another shot at the gold at the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"It's not impossible that I could take part in Rio. But right now, I mean, in the meantime I could retire and come back. It's that long of a break," he said, smiling.
"It's not front and centre in my mind. But, of course, I'd love an Olympic gold in singles. But I am very happy with an Olympic silver in singles ... Obviously, I'd love to be part of it. We'll see how it goes."
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Ossian Shine)