Murray Clinches WimbledonMonday, July 8th, 2013
For 77 years a British man had not won Wimbledon Men’s Singles. That wait was ended yesterday when Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets to clinch the title in front of a celebrity packed audience.
Film stars, royalty and a handful of actual tennis fans were packed into Wimbledon’s Centre Court arena to watch Murray take on the world number one in blistering heat. Murray didn’t disappoint and came out of the blocks the quicker of the two winning the first set 6-4. The crowd were on his side almost unanimously although the more general public did show less passion than they perhaps would had an Englishman been in the same situation. Murray’s anti English outbursts as a young player meaning he lacks the 100% support that even a sometimes hapless Tim Henman enjoyed.
At Wimbledon however the Djokovic supporters could be counted on one hand and upon Henman Hill/Murray Mount or the ingeniously dubbed Robson Green the thousands of fans were in great voice in supporting their hero.
Murray had been considered a huge underdog before the match and even at one set up it was the Serbian who was favourite to lift the famous gold trophy. However Murray had momentum and won some key points and spurred on by Gerard Butler’s wonderful light blue suit he managed to grab set two as well, 7-5 the score in a tightly contested set in which both players broke serve.
At this point things were getting tense. Andy Murray was on the brink of making history and the crowd knew it, people could sense it, feel it in the air. Murray broke early in the set and it just seemed to be a matter of time. A feeling that he’d done it swept the nation, Fred Perry’s 77 year old record was about to go up in smoke.
Murray was facing a champion however and it was that champion, the world number one, that broke back and forced Murray onto the back foot. For a while it looked like the comeback might genuinely be on and the crowd were temporarily silenced. When Murray broke again it was there, the roar, the noise was so loud, the crowd interrupting rallies. Even the umpire, who had the worst, most interfering game you’ll ever see from a top official, couldn’t silence them at times and they looked likely to push Murray over the line. He was serving for the game before we knew it and at 40-0 up he had three championship points.
And he blew them all. Echoes of Tim Henman, the biggest bottler in tennis history occurred as Murray gave the tiniest of glimpses for his opponent. He then gained a second wind, he saved the break points he had offered up and finally, as a Djokovic backhand hit the net he had done it. He had won. He had made history.
You could tell in the interviews afterwards it hadn’t really sunk in. Djokovic was magnanimous in victory, a true gentleman. He said the best man had won the Wimbledon title and if truth be told, he was right.