Andy Murray rewrote 76 years of British tennis history as he won the first Grand Slam title Monday, defeating Novak Djokovic 7-6 (12-10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2.
Murray took a huge weight off his shoulders as he became the first British man since Fred Perry to lift the trophy at a major.
The victory came 79 years to the day that Perry won his first Grand Slam in 1933 in the US. Perry won the last major for Britain at the US Championships in 1936.
Murray also broke an eight—match loss streak by his compatriots in Grand Slam finals.
The New York final, delayed a day by rain for a fifth consecutive year due to the lack of a showcase stadium moveable roof, moves Murray up to third in the world behind Roger Federer and Djokovic.
“I don’t know how I did it,” said an exhausted Murray after winning the second—longest men’s final in Open history. The time of four hours, 54 minutes was only a minute less than the all—time longest, when Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl lost to Mats Wilander in the 1988 final.
“It was incredibly tricky conditions. After the third and fourth sets, it was tough mentally.
“Novak is so strong, he fights to the end in every match. I’ve had some long tough matches in the past with Novak, I just managed to get through it.” Murray also thanked new coach Lendl, who came on board in January.
“He was one of the greatest ever to play. He made eight consecutive finals here. It was great to have his support in the tough moments.” Djokovic was defending the title he won in 2011 over Rafael Nadal, with the Serb having won four Grand Slam titles since the start of 2011.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” said Djokovic. I want to congratulate Andy and his team. He absolutely deserves this.
“I tried my best,” said the world number two, behind Federer, who came back from two sets to love down to force a fifth set.
Murray stared with a double break in the final set but lost one of them for 3—1. The Scot, sensing the finishing line, reached 4—2 with a love game sealed with an ace and got an insurance break of his opponent for 5—2.
Olympic champion Murray served out the biggest win of his life a game later, lifting the honours on his second match point on a Djokovic forehand long.
Murray won with 31 winners and eight breaks of serve from 17 chances.
Djokovic got treatment for a groin injury on court prior to the last game as both players were severely tested in windy conditions.
Murray was playing his second New York final in four years after losing the first of his career in 2008 to Federer. He established himself as a bona fide member of the ATP elite, winning six of his last seven matches against top 10 opponents.
The Scot’s victory ended his summer of success after playing the Wimbledon final against Federer and then beating the Swiss three weeks later in the London Olympic gold medal match.
He is the first man to win the top Games medal and the US Open in the same season.