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From Olympic gold to a Grand Slam at last! Andy Murray lays ghost of Fred Perry to rest by becoming the first male Brit for 76 years to win a Grand Sl

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Triumphant: Andy Murray holds the U.S. Open trophy aloft after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the men's singles final match in New York

Andy Murray has crowned this year's golden summer of sport by becoming the first Brit for 86 years to win a men's singles tennis Grand Slam.
After winning gold at the London Olympics, the 25-year-old Scot beat reigning U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, in a five set thriller.
Murray won the first set 7-6 on a tie break before he added the second 7-5. But then Djokovic roared back to win the third 2-6 and the fourth 3-6. Murray then recovered to win the final set 6-2.
Murray, who is seven days older than his opponent, becomes the first male British Grand Slam winner since Fred Perry won same event at Forest Hills in 1936.

Kiss of joy: Murray plants a smacker on the U.S. Open trophy after being presented with the cup

Disbelief: Murray does his one fingered celebration after victory against Djokovic in a match which lasted nearly five hours

Speaking after the match, Murray was full of relief. Despite his Olympics triumph in London last month, the boy from Dunblane was the underdog heading into tonight's match, having lost in four consecutive major tournament finals.
'Right now, there's a lot of relief and I'm still buzzing a bit from the match - the atmosphere out there was unbelievable,' he told Sky Sports 1.
'It would have been a tough one to lose so I'm so, so happy I managed to pull though in the end.
'The body's hurting a bit but it was worth it.'

Feels good: Murray waxes triumphant as the moment of his victory sinks in at the Arthur Ashe Stadium

The windy conditions helped Murray in the early stages but Djokovic fought back once it had started to die down. However, the Scot revealed he took a toilet break before the start of the decider to regain his composure.
'The wind calmed down towards the end of the second set and I had to change the way I was playing a bit because he was then dictating more of the points and he started going for it a bit more.

Britain's Andy Murray returns a shot to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during the U.S. Open final

'I was still playing the same way as when it was windy and I was kind of guiding the ball a little bit and was only reaching the middle of the court.
'At the beginning of the fifth set I went to the toilet and I said to myself: "For one set, just give it everything you've got".
'I got lucky in the first game with a net on the break point but I settled down after that.'

Andy Murray groans after losing a key point in the U.S. Open final at Flushing Meadows

Andy Murray roars after winning a point against Serbia's Novak Djokovic

His early considerable lead, and a chance at history, slipping away, Murray dug deep for stamina and mental strength in an effort to outlast his Serbian rival.
'Novak is so, so strong. He fights until the end in every single match,' Murray said. 'I don't know how I managed to come through in the end.'
Murray already showed he could come up big by winning the gold medal in front of a home crowd at the London Olympics last month.
But this was different. This was a Grand Slam tournament, the standard universally used to measure tennis greatness - and the 287th since Perry won the trophy of the U.S. Championships, as the event was known back then.

Novak Djokovic roars after winning the third set to haul himself back into the game

Fellow Scots Sir Sean Connery and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson were there to cheer Murray on with a host of Hollywood stars

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reaches up for a return to Britain's Andy Murray

Andy Murray was desperate to finally taste glory on tennis' biggest stage after losing four Grand Slam finals

Murray vs. Djokovic was a test of will as much as skill, lasting 4 hours, 54 minutes, tying the record for longest U.S. Open final. The first-set tiebreaker's 22 points set a tournament mark.
They repeatedly produced fantastic, tales-in-themselves rallies for individual points, lasting 10, 20, 30, even 55 strokes, counting the serve.
The crowd gave a standing ovation to salute one majestic, 30-stroke point in the fourth set that ended with Murray's forehand winner as Djokovic fell to the court, slamming on his left side.

The 25-year-old Scot was in America to take on Serb reigning champion Novak Djokovic in the final of the U.S. Open

By the end, Djokovic - who had won eight consecutive five-set matches, including in the semifinals (against Murray) and final (against Rafael Nadal) at the Australian Open in January - was the one looking fragile, trying to catch breathers and doing deep knee bends at the baseline to stretch his aching groin muscles.
After getting broken to trail 5-2 in the fifth, Djokovic had his legs massaged by a trainer.
'I really tried my best,' Djokovic said.

Neck-and-neck: Andy Murray, right, Novak Djokovic trade blows during the final

Kim Sears, girlfriend of Andy Murray, watches his men's final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open

Kim Sears looks to the big screen with her hands clasped together as a point is challenged

Full house: The Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York where Andy Murray bids to win the U.S. Open

source: dailymail