The long wait is finally over, Andy Murray has won Wimbledon ending a 77-year drought for British men at their home event. In unseasonably hot conditions on Centre Court Wimbledon, Murray outlasted world No. 1 and longtime rival Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in a grueling 3-hours, 9-minutes.
“It feels slightly different to last year,” joked Murray about his teary finish a year ago. “Last year was one of the toughest moments of my career. It was a tough match and an unbelievably long final game. I don’t know how I managed to come through. I’m just so glad.
“I understand how much everyone wanted to see a British winner at Wimbledon. I tried my best. I’ve played Novak many times. He’s going to go down as one of the biggest fighters. That made it extra tough; I just managed to squeeze through in the end.”
I said going in the leader at the end of the match in aces might win it, and Murray dominated in that category finishing with nine, Djokovic just four. But there was more to it. A whole lot more.
Right from the very first point of the match – a tone-setting 20 shot rally won by Murray that signaled the Scot had came to play – we knew what to expect. And that trend of long, physical momentum-shifting rallies continued. At times to me, Djokovic looked weary from his marathon semifinal win over Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday.
But all credit to Murray who played aggressively, moved beautifully, served well and then hung on in a very nervy finish.
All told there were a surprising 11 total breaks of serve so it wasn’t the best tennis I’ve seen, but the end had some nice drama with Djokovic making a last push.
For the Serb, though, it was too little too late. Djokovic led by a break in the second but it wasn’t a convincing lead as Murray soon proved thereafter. Novak had other moments – he led in the third also – just by not enough as Murray just wouldn’t go away, wouldn’t give in.
“Congratulations to Andy. He absolutely deserved this win,” said Djokovic. “He played incredible tennis. Congratulations to his team, I know how much it means to them, all of you guys and the whole country.
“That makes his success even better, I’m aware of the pressure he gets. There was a lot of expectation on him to win the tournament this year after reaching the final last year. It was an absolute honor and pleasure to be a part of this final.”
Murray, who becomes the first British man to win since French Perry in 1936, and the tour now turns its collective attention to the hardcourts (well, everyone except Federer) and with two of the last four Majors in his pocket maybe Murray is the man to beat this second half of the season.
And what a turnaround.
A month ago a back injury left Murray wondering if he could even play Wimbledon. Now he’s on top of the world.
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