Finally after 76 years without a British Grand Slam winner, Andy Murray has won the US Open in an epic 5 setter 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 lasting 4 hours and 54 minute (a joint record) against previous holder Novak Djokovic.
The match started in odd fashion with back-to-back breaks that could be attributed to incredibly tough windy weather conditions. This set the precedent for the rest of the match, which would eventually contain 17 breaks of serve! Murray took the early initiative and finally won the first set tiebreak to 10 after squandering 5 set points. Had Djokovic won the first set, I’m sure the title would have gone his way but it was Murray’s day. He raced into the lead in the second set going up a double break, and despite a few scares Murray closed it out, winning 7-5.
Djokovic isn’t a 5-time grand slam winner for no reason and proved his class in an immense 2 sets to claw it back to 2 sets all. He was ironing out his service game and hitting more winners – ominous signs for Murray. Until now 4 hours of tennis had been simply fantastic; both players have relatively similar styles immersing themselves in the often-long rallies – breaking this year’s US Open record at 54 strokes.
The naturally pessimistic British media and fans were no doubt writing Murray off. 5 times in a Grand Slam final and 5 losses (soon to be 6). At least this time he managed to take 2 sets! Murray certainly proved the doubters wrong storming into the lead with another double break. He held his nerve and eventually served for the championship winning on an over cooked Djokovic forehand. Relief.
You could see on his face that relief was the overwhelming emotion. Murray was exhausted and had finally won his first grand slam when to many (including himself) it seemed like he would only be a finalist. After the game he said “You’re in a little bit of disbelief because when I have been in that position many times before and not won, you do think, ‘Is it ever going to happen?’. Yes it will!
Murray has largely been a controversial figure in the British media – one comment completely taken out of context years ago had brought him many haters. He has also been criticized for showing lack of emotion however after his loss to Federer this year at Wimbledon many tennis fans warmed to Murray seeing how much their support meant to him. Andy Murray has long been a world-class tennis player, but he is simply playing an era where there are 4 world-class champions also on the circuit. He finally has the Grand Slam he deserves and this may be is the start of many more to come.