Wimbledon: The ghost is dead, long live Andy Murray
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From the lawns of Wimbledon to the lochs of Scotland, all of Britain can celebrate.
Andy Murray made it possible Sunday, winning his country's hallowed tennis tournament to become the first British man in 77 years to raise the trophy at the All England Club.
Murray's 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory over top-seeded Novak Djokovic was a fitting close to nearly eight decades of British frustration in its own backyard: A straight-setter, but a hard-fought, 3-hour, 9-minute affair filled with long, punishing rallies, with Murray squandering three match points before finally putting it away after four deuces.
Certainly, the endgame must have felt like torture to the 15,000 watching on Centre Court, including Prime Minister David Cameron, the thousands more watching on a big-screen TV on the grounds and, of course, the millions of British watching on TV.
"Imagine playing it," Murray said in his on-court interview.
But he closed it out on this warm, cloudless day on Centre Court. He put his name beside that of Fred Perry, the last British man to win Wimbledon, back in 1936.
Those words don't have to be written again. "He's someone that I've obviously never met, but is quite relevant in my career really," Murray said.
The second-seeded Murray beat the best in Djokovic — top-ranked and a six-time Grand Slam winner known for both a mental and physical fitness built to handle what he faced Sunday: A crowd full of overheated partisans rooting against him, to say nothing of Murray himself.
"The atmosphere was incredible for him. For me, not so much, but this is what I expected," Djokovic said.
Since falling to Roger Federer in the final last year, Murray had shed some baggage by winning the Olympic gold medal on Centre Court, then following that with his first Grand Slam title at the US Open.