11th of September 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Andy Murray put an end to Britain's 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam singles title with a heroic and historic victory over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final. Murray was the first British player to achieve that since Fred Perry's 1936 performance, winning 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 in four hours 54 minutes in the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The victory adds more glamor to an already solid season for Andy Murray as he has also reached the Wimbledon final and won Olympic gold this summer.
"When I realised I had won, I was a little bit shocked, I was very relieved and I was very emotional," said Murray.
A rather strong wind made conditions quite difficult for both players, but it was Murray who coped better in the first two sets and eventually ended Djokovic's title defense campaign. The Serbian was on a 27-match hard-court winning run at major tournament, but that also came to an end. "They were incredibly tricky conditions," Murray stated. "Novak is so strong, he fights until the end of every match and I don't know how I managed to come through in the end."
Djokovic fought back and claimed the third set and, whith fresh confidence, found himself 2-0 up early in the fourth set, which he eventually won. It seemed Djokovic was on course to become the first man since Pancho Gonzales in 1949 to rally from two sets down to win the US Open. But Murray found the strength to strike back in the decider and he clinched the title with a massive fifth set performance.
"I'm disappointed to lose, but I gave it my all," said Djokovic, a friend of Murray's and just seven days younger than the Briton. "I had a great opponent today. He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody. I would like to congratulate him."
Needless to say that the victory triggered enthusiastic reactions in the UK. Here are three of them:
Jamie Murray, Andy's brother: "What a historic night! Tonight Andy achieved his dream. He got the result his talent, dedication and perseverance deserved. So proud of him'.
Brad Gilbert, Murray's former coach: "What a close from the Muzzard. That was an epic final, major props to the guys - a pleasure to watch."
BBC tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend: "Autumn, you've got a hell of an act to follow. Andy Murray has just capped the greatest summer."
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