Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, first British man in 77 years to claim title

continued from page 1

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 riveting affairs.

Djokovic went up a break in both the second and third sets and, both times, appeared to have grabbed at least a bit of control and quieted a crowd that included Prime Minister David Cameron.

But Murray dug out of both holes. In the second set, he set up break point with a sharply angled forehand that Djokovic couldn’t handle, and the Serb responded with a double-fault, one of four on the day.

In the third set, Murray lost four straight games to fall behind 4-2, but got the break back and — eventually — closed it out by winning the last four games as the roars from every corner of Centre Court grew louder.

“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. I’ve been saying it all week, but it does make a difference. 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.”

Trailing 5-4 in the third, Djokovic rushed out to the court after the break — a man who seemingly wanted to get it over with. Murray quickly went ahead 40-0 and it looked to be all but over. But the next few minutes felt like forever. Djokovic saved the first three championship points, then had three break opportunities of his own. Couldn’t convert any. Then, finally, Murray put it away when Djokovic rifled a backhand into the net. A few minutes later, the 26-year-old Murray was kissing the trophy.

How might things have progressed if Djokovic had pulled out that game?

“I don’t know,” was all he offered.

Djokovic came into the match on the heels of a 4-hour, 43-minute semifinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro in similarly parched conditions on Friday. He conceded that match took a lot out of him but “I’ve been in these situations before. I felt OK.”

Indeed, he rarely wears out, but Murray and the linesmen combined for a one-two punch, and punctured the 2011 Wimbledon champion’s typically calm, almost robotic, demeanor.

Murray’s withering groundstrokes and his patience from behind the line helped him take the first set. Then slowly, Djokovic shifted his strategy, mixing in drop shots with frequent trips to the net — neither of which are considered his specialty. He won 30 of 52 trips to the net, compared to 26 for 37 for his opponent.

“I wasn’t patient enough in the moments when I should have been,” Djokovic said.

The impatience resulted in 40 unforced errors against 31 winners — an uncommonly average ratio for the world’s top-ranked player — compared to 36 winners and 21 unforced errors by Murray.

Meanwhile, Djokovic found himself in what, at times, felt like an ongoing dialogue with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, as a number of close calls went against him. Djokovic had used up all three of his second-set challenges by the middle of the eighth game. At the end of that game, after another close call on the baseline went against him, Djokovic raised his hands toward the heavens, showing another trace of frustration that rarely hits him.

Murray, meanwhile, kept his cool through it all, even if the sweat that drenched his Wimbledon-white shirt made it nearly see-through at times.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player