Sun, 07 Jul 2013 22:00:00 GMT | By Reuters

Triumphant Murray ends 77 years of British hurt

Andy Murray became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the Wimbledon title


Andy Murray claims maiden Wimbledon title (© Reuters)

London: Andy Murray wiped out 77 years of pain and hurt as he became the first British man since 1936 to win the men's title at Wimbledon with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 victory over world number one Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

Just why Britain had to wait almost eight decades to witness such scenes of unbridled patriotic joy at the spiritual home of lawn tennis was summed up by an astonishing final game when Murray won and lost three match points, leaving 15,000 fans gasping in disbelief.

The pulses were racing even faster as Djokovic displayed his own survival instincts to earn three break points before a wondrous volley winner gave Murray another championship point.

This time Djokovic could not deny him and when the Serb dragged a backhand into the net after yet another lengthy exchange, 60 million Britons leapt up and Murray tossed his racket to the famous turf.

"That was one of the toughest moments, today was unbelievably tough match," Murray said after fulfilling a lifelong dream of holding aloft the gilded Challenge Cup.

"I don't know how I came through the final three points, I'm so glad to do it.

"I understand how much everyone wanted to see British winner at Wimbledon and I hope everyone enjoyed it."

A gracious Djokovic added: "Congratulations to Andy you absolutely deserved it, you played incredibly.

"I know what it means to you guys in the whole country so well done. It is a great achievement. I gave it my all and it was an honour to be in this match, in this final."

Murray took three hours and nine minutes to finally lay Fred Perry's ghost at 5.24 local time on Sunday.

On the hottest day of the year in Britain, with the mercury soaring toward 30 degrees Celsius, the world's two best players produced scorching sinew-stretching action from the start and the first three games alone lasted 20 minutes.

The opening salvo of the Centre Court clash lasted 20 strokes as Murray went up 0-40 on the Serb's serve but Djokovic produced staunch defence to stave off his opponent's attacks.

The duo did trade breaks in the third and fourth games, with each Murray winner being greeted by a chorus of 15,000 roars.

Second seed Murray got another chance to break to love in the seventh game and this time he pounced as the 2011 champion surrendered his serve by slapping a backhand into the net.

A set that initially looked like lasting forever ended exactly on the hour mark as Djokovic whipped a service return wide to give Murray, runner-up to Roger Federer last year, the one-set cushion.

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