Andy Murray has ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam singles champion with an epic five-set victory over world number two Novak Djokovic in the US Open final. The gruelling 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 match took four hours and 54 minutes to complete. It capped a wonderful summer for Murray and British sport in general. Murray reached the Wimbledon final and won Olympic gold this summer. Going into the match, Murray had played in 27 Grand Slams and lost in finals on four occasions.
“When I realised I had won, I was a little bit shocked, I was very relieved and I was very emotional,” said Murray, quoted by the BBC.
Credit must go to Ivan Lendl
Writing at The Guardian, Kevin Mitchell said “few sporting voyages have carried such baggage, and Murray’s alone has resembled a flea carrying a piano up a mountain. In a single win, hair ruffling his Scottish locks, Murray put a deal of pain to rest.” Mitchell credited Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl with improving Murray’s mental focus: “There have been few partnerships in tennis that have clicked so pleasingly in such a short space of time. Lendl has settled Murray’s mind … There is something that binds him to Murray: defeat – each lost their first four slam finals.”
Olympic victory changed Murray
Simon Barnes of The Times (£) said “Murray’s Olympic victory can now be seen as a milestone in his career. At the Games he beat Djokovic in the semis and then took apart Roger Federer in the final — Federer who had beaten him so handsomely in the Wimbledon final on the same court a few weeks earlier. The victory changed him. It was a different Murray on show yesterday. He was now ready to take his place at the high table of sport, and did so emphatically. His game was filled with a new certainty … ” Barnes also credited Lendl, a “a chillingly effective player in his day” who has “has brought to Murray the ruthlessness he needed to take that final step.”
“Murray — golden Murray — is now without question one of the big boys of tennis,” declared Simon Barnes of The Times. “What next? Are there more extraordinary joys awaiting us in London’s next great summer of sport?”
2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year just got even more competitive
“The scale of the achievement, as Murray became Britain’s first slam champion for 76 years, should not be underestimated – and nor should the determination it required for him to break this breakthrough,” insisted Oliver Brown of The Telegraph. “So great was the specter cast by the deeds of Fred Perry in another age that he had to summon up prodigious strength of mind to end, decisively, the mention of that name. When the time comes to dispense awards like confetti upon the British sporting heroes of 2012, Bradley Wiggins and Mo Farah might find that they have company. For Murray’s coronation in New York has delivered the most beautiful postscript not just to the nation’s summer of love, but to his own. A period of nine weeks in which he has reached a Wimbledon final, taken gold at a home Olympics and, at last, fulfilled his lifetime’s ambition of a slam signifies a spell of sustained brilliance to stand comparison with any.”