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Murray's Moment At Last!

New York, U.S.A.

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray needed six set points to win the dramatic first set tie-break.

Buoyed by winning the longest-ever tie-break in a US Open title match, Andy Murray became the first British man since 1936 to taste Grand Slam victory after outplaying defending champion Novak Djokovic in an epic five-set US Open final Monday.

Djokovic rallied from a two-set deficit and four falls to the court surface to force a decider, but Olympic champion Murray, who like his coach Ivan Lendl had suffered agonising defeats in his first four major finals, would not be denied.

In a pulsating match that will be long remembered for gruelling side-to-side baseline exchanges that drew loud gasps from energised New York fans during points, both players produced inspired performances in difficult, blustery conditions. Murray was at his best when he upped his aggression from the baseline, and both players dazzled with dogged defense, exceptional court movement and a series of protracted baseline rallies, several of which topped 30 strokes. 

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"It was incredibly tricky conditions," Murray said during the trophy presentation. "After the third and fourth sets it was tough mentally for me... Novak is so, so strong. He fights till the end in every single match and I don't know how I managed to come through in the end.

"It was close to five hours and I've had some really long and tough matches. I just managed to get through."

"It wasn't to be. I want to congratulate Andy for his first Grand Slam," Djokovic said. "He absolutely deserves it. I gave it all. It was another tremendous match to be a part of."

ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett praised Murray after the final, saying, "Andy's breakthrough Grand Slam victory is not only a tribute to his exceptional talent but also a deserving reward for his hard work and perseverance."

At January's Australian Open, Djokovic defeated Murray 7-5 in the fifth set in a match that lasted 4 hrs., 50 mins.

By winning his first major, Murray joined Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open) as the only players to break the Grand Slam dominance of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The trio has won 29 of the past 31 majors dating back to 2005 Roland Garros.

Murray, who needed six set points to win a 24-minute first-set tie-break 12-10, broke through for his first major title in his fifth Grand Slam final with a 7-6(10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Djokovic. At 4 hrs., 54 mins., the match equalled the longest US Open final in history.

How The Final Was Won: Read Set-By-Set Analysis

Cheered on by countryman Sir Sean Connery and fellow actor Kevin Spacey, Murray initially dealt with the frustrating wind better than Djokovic and in the fifth set produced aggression from the baseline that his supporters knew would eventually lead him to Grand Slam glory.

The victory propelled Murray to No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings ahead of Nadal. Following his gold medal performance at the London Olympics (d. Federer) and his first run to the Wimbledon final (l. Federer), Murray has put himself into position to challenge for the year-end World No. 1 ranking.

After winning the first set, Murray had the weight of numbers on his side. In the past 13 encounters between Murray and Djokovic, the winner of the first set had gone on to win the match. And 18 of the past 20 US Open men’s finals had been won by the winner of the first set.

There were nervous moments, however, as Murray squandered a 4-0 lead (and later 5-2 lead) in the second set before he broke Djokovic at 6-5 to shore up the second set.

Chasing his fourth consecutive hard court Grand Slam title, Djokovic dropped serve five times in the opening two sets but then steadied to win the third and fourth sets for the loss of just five games. However, the Serb dropped his opening two service games of the fifth set as Murray raced to a 3-0 lead. Those seven breaks of serve equalled the number of breaks he had surrendered in his six matches leading into the final.

Murray held his nerve to close out the fifth set 6-2.

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