By a Newsnet reporter
Scotland’s Andy Murray has achieved his dream and made history in the process by defeating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final at Wimbledon.
On a sun drenched centre court the man from Dunblane upset the world number one to take the most coveted title in tennis, winning in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
Going into the final Murray was regarded the second favourite by most pundits, Djokovic having shown the slightly better form over the course of the competition. However with the backing of a vocal centre court that included First Minister Alex Salmond and PM David Cameron, the Scot delighted the home crowd with a scintillating display on his way to taking the title.
Not since 1936 had a British born tennis player won the men’s Wimbledon final. Appearing in his seventh Grand Slam final, the Scot ended that 77 year drought.
In the early exchanges it was Murray who appeared the more composed, immediately putting pressure on the Djokovic serve.
That pressure paid off when the Scot broke the Serbian in the third game of the first set. However the advantage was lost when Djokovic immediately broke back in the next game. But Murray kept up the pressure and the Serbian’s serve gave way again in the seventh.
This time Murray held his own serve, saving two break points in the process. With Djokovic holding, the Scot then served for the first set – which he duly managed, taking it 6-4.
The heat was taking its toll with some long punishing rallies leaving both players gasping for air. Djokovic was coming to the net more in what may have been an attempt at shortening rallies. His semi-final was played in similar conditions and the five sets had produced the longest semi in Wimbledon history.
The second set saw Djokovic take the initiative, breaking Murray in the fourth game.
If the cap fits …
By now both men were wearing baseball caps as the sun bore down. It seemed to help Murray who broke back and then held his own to level at 4-4. At 5-5 Murray again turned up the heat on the Djokovic serve and the Serbian succumbed.
At 6-5, Murray served to take the second set which he duly did – an ace providing the Scot with a two sets to love lead over the world number one.
The momentum was with Murray and it was reinforced when he broke Djokovic in the Serbian’s first service game of the third set. But Djokovic, never one to give up without a fight levelled by breaking back.
Now it was Murray’s time to come under pressure as Djokovic capitalised on some poor play by the Scot to break again.
At four games to two the set looked to be going the way of the Serbian but Murray’s mental toughness was resolute as he immediately broke back before holding his own serve to level the set at four games all.
This set had ebbed and flowed but when Murray broke again the writing was on the wall and the engraver was preparing the golden trophy.
At 5-4 the Scot had three championship points on his own serve, but couldn’t convert. Saving three break points himself Murray then achieved his fourth championship point.
Converting, the Scot achieved sporting immortality. Few will argue that this is the greatest sporting achievement ever by a Scotsman.
Congratulating Murray on winning in straight sets, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“Many congratulations to Andy Murray on a truly phenomenal victory. Andy’s determination to win was visible in every point and he delivered an outstanding result in a real clash of tennis titans.
“His phenomenal performance against the world number one displayed incredible physical prowess and depths of mental fortitude.
“The shouts of ‘Come on Andy’ were ringing all the way from Dunblane to SW19.
“Last year Andy Murray won the hearts of Wimbledon, this year he has won the championship and on today’s form there will be many more victories to come.
“Novak Djokovic displayed typical grace and sportsmanship in defeat.
“But Andy has firmly secured his place in Scottish sporting folklore. He is one of the greats of the game and his success today will inspire a new generation of tennis champions.”
The win means Murray now holds two out of the four Grand Slam titles, the other being the US Open which he won last year by defeating Djokovic.
It also cements the Scots place in the history books ensuring his name appears alongside an illustrious list that includes Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.