THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
How The Wimbledon Final Was Won
by James Buddell|
Murray, the second seed, erased memories of last year’s loss to Roger Federer, by defeating top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final. The Scot adds to his 2012 US Open crown in his seventh major championship title match.
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A number of former players are watching Murray’s historic triumph from the Royal Box, including Roy Emerson, Neale Fraser, Jan Kodes, Rod Laver, Manuel Santana and Stan Smith.
ATPWorldTour.com breaks down how Murray followed in the footsteps of Fred Perry, the 1934-1936 winner, with set-by-set analysis of the Wimbledon final, which was played on a perfect day in south-west London.
A 20-stroke rally opened the final, played in on-court temperatures of 40°C. Djokovic, who had been susceptible on his backhand wing against Juan Martin del Potro, looked anxious and was forced to recover from 0/40 in the opening game. Murray converted his seventh break point opportunity for a 2-1 lead, with 21 minutes played, but Djokovic responded immediately.
The intensity increased, with Murray breaking serve for a second time in the seventh game. The shirts of both players were dripping with sweat. Murray then saved two break points for a 5-3 lead and having clinched the first set, which lasted 59 minutes, had won 84 per cent of his first service points.
"The atmosphere was incredible for him," said Djokovic. "It was a long opening six, seven games. It went [for] almost 40 minutes. I wasn't patient enough in the moments when I should have been, when I should have looked for the better opportunity to attack."
Djokovic responded by taking a 4-1 lead to wrestle the momentum away from Murray. But without the ability to challenge line calls midway through the set, Djokovic became increasingly rattled and Murray worked his way back to 4-4. Murray served with great fluency and conviction, capitalising on Djokovic errors to break for a 6-5 lead.
Murray closed out a love hold with an ace to take a two sets lead. The Centre Court crowd erupted. The last player to come back from a 0-2 sets deficit in a Wimbledon final was Henri Cochet in 1927. Djokovic has done so three times his career.
Murray looked like a champion in the making when he broke Djokovic’s serve in the first game. But with his back against the wall, Djokovic fought for his life to win four straight games. Murray, mentally stronger under the guidance of Ivan Lendl, roused himself once more.
In a gritty third set, Murray broke Djokovic for a 5-4 lead and a shot at history. The Scot got to 40/0, but Djokovic went for broke to save three championship points. Murray saved two break points before, finally, a lifetime of heartbreak for British players ended when Djokovic hit a backhand into the net. It ended a 12-minute game. Murray had triumphed in three hours and nine minutes.
Murray hit 36 winners, including nine aces and won 72 per cent of his first service points. Djokovic committed 40 unforced errors. There were no tears for Murray at the trophy presentation ceremony this year. By the time he left Centre Court his name was etched in gold leaf on the singles roll of honour.
"It was a very high level of tennis that we competed at today," said Djokovic. "I knew [that] I had to be on top of my game in order to prevail in this match. He had a huge motivation to win his first title. I also had a lot of motivation."