Scotland native Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to win the 2013 Wimbledon title. In two years, he ended two British droughts at Wimbledon. Last year he made history as the first British male to reach the Wimbledon final since Henry “Bunny” Austin in 1938 and now he is the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.
“I understand how much everyone wanted to see a British winner at Wimbledon so I hope you enjoyed it,” Murray told the crowd. “I tried my best.”
Murray lost to Roger Federer last year, but came back to win the gold in the Olympics at Centre Court (ironically against Federer) and beat Djokovic at the US Open, which was his first Grand Slam. He went on to lose to Djokovic in January at the Australian Open and pulled out of the French Open to rest his back for Wimbledon. It turns out it was a very wise move. Wimbledon is to tennis what Daytona is to Nascar and what the Masters is to golf.
“Winning Wimbledon is the pinnacle of tennis,” said Murray. “Winning Wimbledon, I still can’t believe it, can’t get my head around it.”
Even though he won in straight sets it was not easy to beat Djokovic, the #1 seed at Wimbledon and the world. The match took three hours and nine minutes because of long rallies and games that had as many as 25 shots. The first set was an intense battle, but Djokovic appeared to be slightly off. He did reach the final after beating Juan Martin del Potro in a four hour, 43-minute semifinal. However, he said it was not an excuse.
“It took a lot out of me but I cannot look for excuses in the match two days ago,” said Djokovic at the press conference. “It went five hours and five sets but I’ve been in these situations before. I felt okay.”
But Djokovic came out extremely strong in the second set and was ahead 4-1 until Murray answered back. Djokovic had many problems with Murray’s forehand and double faulted a few times to allow Murray to tie the set 4-4. After the tie Djokovic played as if he just wanted the set to end and Murray won it 7-5.
The third set was not any better for Djokovic despite leading 4-2. Murray came back by winning the last four games. Next thing Djokovic knew Murray was up 5-4 and Murray was up 40-0. It was almost over, but Djokovic stopped three championship points. He could not convert his three break opportunities though. Murray won when a Djokovic backhand went straight into the net. Those mistakes cost him.
“I lost crucial points at the net,” Djokovic said. “You don’t get many opportunities against him.”
It was not easy for Murray either.
“That last game I think will be the toughest game I play in my career. Ever,” said Murray.
After winning Murray dropped his racket and climbed into the stands, which is what Marion Bartoli did after she won the ladies title on Saturday.
Making history is a great way to end the craziest Wimbledon in recent memory.