Wimbledon: The ghost is dead,long live Andy Murrayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/wimbledon-the-ghost-is-dead-long-live-andy-murray/

Wimbledon: The ghost is dead,long live Andy Murray

Scot ends Britain's 77-year wait with a straight-set win over Djokovic.

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.

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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.

The US Open win ended a 76-year drought for the British in the Grand Slams.

This one? Even sweeter.

“The pinnacle of tennis,” Murray called the Wimbledon win. “I worked so hard in that last game,the hardest few points I ever played in my life.”

When he finally wrapped it up,he let his racket fall to the turf,took his hat off and pumped his fist toward the crowd. Later,he climbed to the guest box where his coach Ivan Lendl,who famously never won the Wimbledon title,was among those sweating this one out.

Born a week apart in May 1987 — Djokovic in Belgrade when it was part of Yugoslavia,and Murray in Glasgow,Scotland — these top two players are building the best tennis rivalry of the 2010s. This was their third meeting in the last four Grand Slam finals and all have been rivetting affairs.

“The atmosphere today was different to what I’ve experienced in the past,” Murray said. “It was different to last year’s final,for sure. And then,the end of the match,that was incredibly loud,very noisy. Especially in a match as tough as that one,where it’s extremely hot,brutal,long rallies,tough games,they help you get through it.”

“It was a privilege to watch Andy Murray making history at Wimbledon,and making Britain proud,” tweeted Cameron later.

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There was more. “I can confirm,” a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said,“that the Queen has sent a private message to Andy Murray.”