THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
Murray Ends Britain's 77-Year Wimbledon Wait
by Kate Flory|
Murray won his second Grand Slam championship, adding to his 2012 US Open triumph, as he became the first homegrown male winner at the All England Club since Fred Perry in 1936. His US Open victory last year had ended Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sent Murray a private message of congratulations.
Victory for Murray comes one year on from the heartache he suffered at the hands of Roger Federer in his first Wimbledon final. The turning point for the Scot came 28 days later, when he returned to Centre Court to beat the Swiss for the London 2012 Olympics gold medal.
"It feels slightly different to last year," joked Murray on court. "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."
Murray’s road to the title was not without drama. In the quarter-finals he rallied from two sets down for the seventh time in his career to beat Fernando Verdasco. Then, in the semi-finals against Jerzy Janowicz, he found himself at one-set-all and down 4-1 in the third set before fighting back to win in four sets.
Against Djokovic, he prevailed in three turbulent sets. After taking a two-set lead, Murray looked to be well on his way with an early break in the third. But Djokovic turned the set on its head by reeling off four straight games.
With the 15,000-strong Centre Court crowd roaring him on, adding to the 4,000 cheering fans on Henman Hill, Murray regained his composure to break back in the seventh game and again in the ninth game. With the crowd chanting “Andy, Andy, Andy” at the changeover, he came out and saved three break points before clinching victory on his fourth match point in just over three hours. The match was played in temperatures touching 40 degrees Celsius on Centre Court.
Murray defeated Djokovic in five sets to win the US Open title in September, but since then had lost to the Serb in their past three meetings, including in four sets in this year’s Australian Open final. Murray now has a 2-5 record in major finals. His other runner-up finishes came in the 2008 US Open final (l. to Federer) and the 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2011 (l. to Djokovic) Australian Open finals.
The 26-year-old Djokovic was bidding to win the Wimbledon title for the second time, having lifted the trophy in 2011. He dropped to a 6-5 record in Grand Slam finals.
"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 honour and pleasure to be a part of this final."
Murray’s victory was watched by Prime Minister David Cameron, Victoria Beckham, Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper, Wayne Rooney and Justin Rose all in the Royal Box, while fellow Scot, Sir Chris Hoy, watched from Murray’s player box.