One of the longest droughts in tennis is over. No longer can we say that it has been 77 years since a British man has won Wimbledon, thanks to Andy Murray.
His opponent in today’s final, Novak Djokovic, was hoping for his second Wimbledon title while Murray was desperate to win his first and put to bed the nightmare that was losing last year’s final to Roger Federer.
Top seed Djokovic and second seed Murray have met in three Grand Slam finals prior with Djokovic winning twice and Murray once. The Great Scot was determined to square the ledger and he did in three sets, 6-4 7-5 6-4. Here’s how he did it.
Steady as she goes
The match may have been over in three sets, but it was one of the tightest straight-set matches you’ll ever see.
Murray and Djokovic hit 36 and 31 winners respectively, basically cancelling each other out but the unforced error count was a different story. Djokovic’s 40 costly errors were almost double Murray’s count of 21.
“I wasn’t patient enough in the moments I should have been,” was Djokovic’s response when asked about the uncharacteristically high number.
Take your chances
Both players had many opportunities to break but it was Murray who capitalised more often than Djokovic. The second seed converted seven of his 17 chances, while the top seed could only make four of 14.
Sadly for the world No.1 this was ultimately the difference. Djokovic will especially rue letting Murray break back in the second set when he was leading 4-1 and seemingly on his way to leveling the match at a set apiece. Murray broke again in the 11th game, served out the second set and from there never looked back.
With the crowd on his side
That Andy Murray was the local favourite is the understatement of the year. The packed Centre Court was with Murray all the way. From cheering wildly for every winner to providing encouragement when down break points, the fans wanted this as much as the man on court.
For Djokovic it would have been tough match to play. More often than not a crowd favourite, Djokovic was even booed at one point for remonstrating with the umpire mid-way through the second set. However, his graciousness in defeat and warm embrace with Murray at the end of the match went a long way to winning the crowd back.
And the noise factor? Yeah, it was loud, just ask Andy.
“But, yeah, I mean, the atmosphere today was different to what I've experienced in the past. It was different to last year's final, for sure. And then, yeah, the end of the match, that was incredibly loud, very noisy.”
Keep your nerve
For Murray, serving out the match cannot be underestimated. “I worked so hard in that last game. It's the hardest few points I've had to play in my life.
“That last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career, ever.”
Man on a mission
Right from the first point Murray had a determined look about him. He’d been here before and lost, so he knew what to expect. Despite facing multiple break points he didn’t get down on himself as he has done in the past, he worked through each situation, stayed in control and ultimately won the match.
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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