The tennis gods finally decided to cut Andy Murray a break.
Murray made history yesterday by becoming the first British player to win the men’s singles trophy at Wimbledon in 77 years. He did it by defeating long-time rival Novak Djokavic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
"That last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career. Ever," said Murray. "Winning Wimbledon - I still can't believe it. Can't get my head around that. I can't believe it.”
Murray knows something about tough games. He had made four trips to Grand Slam finals — and lost all four. Only two men have ever done that: Murray and Ivan Lendl, Murray's coach. That fourth loss came last year when he met Roger Federer in the Wimbeldon final. The two played a grueling four-set match that lasted more than three hours. He lost to Federer, and after the match tears rolled down his cheek as he addressed the crowd. “I’m getting closer,” Murray said at the time.
He had no idea.
But for as well as Murray played in this year’s Wimbledon, he needed a stroke or three of luck, too. Perhaps his two greatest threats in the tournament, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were both bounced out of the tournament in its first few days. And Djokavic struggled through a brutal five-set win against Juan Martin del Potro. At four hours and 43 minutes it was the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history. A clearly fatigued Djokavic went on to commit 40 unforced errors in the final against Murray.
But the circumstances didn’t take away from the victory for Murray, who relished the journey that finally led him to a Wimbledon Championship.
"I obviously wanted to try and win this for myself," Murray told the crowd, cradling his new gold trophy, "but also I understand how much everyone else wanted to see a British winner at Wimbledon, so I hope you guys enjoyed it."
Photo: Andy Murray of Great Britain kisses the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)