Britain’s media are unfurling the superlatives they’ve been waiting 76 years use as the nation celebrates Andy Murray’s drought-breaking Grand Slam win over Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open.
Murray beat No. 2-ranked Djokovic 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in a thrilling five-set U.S. Open final Monday to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry claimed the 1936 U.S. Championships, the Open’s predecessor.
Under the headline “Murray’s fairytale of New York” BBC chief sports writer Tom Fordyce described Murray’s achievement in the early hours of the European morning as “one of the great finals of the modern era.”
Coming just weeks after Britain’s record-breaking haul of 65 Olympic medals, including Murray’s singles gold in front of a home crowd at the London Games, Fordyce said the 25-year-old Scot’s title was “the perfect bookend to a few months that British sport can scarcely believe and will never forget.”
Mark Petchey, Murray’s former coach, told British broadcaster Sky, “I’m more thrilled he’s won it like this. It shows he’s unique and a bit special. It speaks volumes for Andy.”
Murray was one of only two men in the professional era, which began in 1968, to have lost his first four Grand Slam finals against Djokovic in the 2011 Australian Open, and against Federer at the 2008 U.S. Open, 2010 Australian Open and this year’s Wimbledon.
“Thank God that’s over. Thank God we can let Fred Perry lie easy. Thank God for Andy Murray,” wrote the Guardian newspaper website.
Former British No. 1 Greg Rusedski, who lost the 1997 U.S. Open final to Australia’s Pat Rafter, told Sky Sports- “That was unbelievable. If you look back, Fred Perry won his last major on September 10, and Andy Murray has won it on September 10.”
Canadian—born Rusedski predicted more major titles for Murray.
“It shows you what a champion he is and, having won this, he can go on to win many majors and maybe end the year as the British number one,” he said.