Andy Murray Beats Djokovic to End U.K.’s 77-Year Wimbledon AgonyChristopher Elser
Andy Murray overcame top seed Novak Djokovic to win the Wimbledon title and end Britain’s 77-year wait for a male champion at the All England Club.
The second-seeded Murray beat the 2011 winner from Serbia 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 on a hot day on Centre Court.
The 26-year-old Dunblane, Scotland-born Murray is the first British man to take the singles title on the London grass courts since Fred Perry, who won Wimbledon in 1936 during the short reign of Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle. Perry’s statue stands next to Centre Court. Virginia Wade was the last Briton to clinch the women’s title, in 1977.
Djokovic, who is seven days younger than Murray, was going for his seventh Grand Slam title and second Wimbledon championship after his victory in 2011. A win today would have tied him with John McEnroe of the U.S. and Sweden’s Mats Wilander in eighth place for the most major titles for a man since 1968, when the sport went professional.
In a first set full of long baseline rallies, play was back on serve until 3-3 as both got broken early on. The crowd roared loudly as Murray broke for 4-3, and easily served out the set 6-4 with a service winner.
In the second, both men put on hats as temperatures reached 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit). Djokovic was in command of most of the set as he cut down on his errors and won most of the long rallies.
With the 26-year-old Serb a point away for a 5-2 lead, Murray cracked a backhand return winner, and broke on a double fault. Another unforced error by Djokovic -- this time a netted forehand -- gave Murray the lead for the first time in the set with 6-5. Murray clenched his fist as he took a two sets to love lead with a 125 miles-per-hour ace, his ninth of the match.
Djokovic, whose 4 hour, 45 minute semifinal with Juan Martin del Potro was a All England Club record, looked subdued when he started serving in the third. He lost the game with a long forehand, and Murray held at love to go up 2-0.
Djokovic went down love-30 in the third game, only to rebound with four straight points to go to 1-2. The Serb broke the Briton, and then held, to take a 3-2 lead shortly after they’d been playing for two hours and 30 minutes. Both men sat in the shade, using iced towels to cool down, during changeovers.
The Serb broke as Murray hit a forehand into the net to go up 4-2. Then it was Murray’s turn, forcing Djokovic side to side and taking advantage of weak drop shots. The Scot broke back and then held with a forehand down the line.
Djokovic was burned on several drop shots that Murray was able to hit winners from. Murray broke when Djokovic hit a forehand into the net, and got the chance to serve for the match.
Murray went up 40-love, but Djokovic won three straight points to put pressure on him. The Serb got a break point as Murray’s errors mounted, but couldn’t take it. He got another with a net cord that flitted just over the net. Murray got it back, and then tried his own drop, that Djokovic pushed back for a winner on a tight angle.
Finally, Murray got another match point, guessing correctly on a Djokovic slam and hitting a backhand that wasn’t returned.
The Briton took it, and then knelt on the court as his mother Judy cried in the box. He greeted Djokovic and engaged the crowd.