Finally, a Brit finally wins the men’s Wimbledon championship, the first since Fred Perry won it in 1936. While Andy Murray’s straight set victory over Novak Djokovic looked lopsided on paper, it was definitely not easy, as several rallies stretched into the 30’s. Given the lengthy rallies were played on Wimbledon’s grass Centre Court–and not clay, one could correctly assume the brand of tennis was top-notch.
With the weight of the nation on Murray’s shoulders to end an agonizing 77-year streak of futility, the 26-year old Brit responded well to the understandably pro-Murray cheering crowd. Djokovic, on the other hand, looked weary at times, amidst rumors that his grueling five-set semifinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro took its toll.
It was Murray’s second Grand Slam title, after being crowned the 2012 U.S. Open championship. He also won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, also with aid of the pro-British crowd. But today’s Wimbledon Championship trumped every other achievement, ending a multi-decade-long drought for the United Kingdom.
Murray broke first for a 2-1 lead in the first set, before Djokovic returned the favor to tie it 2-2. Murray broke again at 4-3, garnering more winners than the top-seeded Serb. Murray held serve at 5-3, surviving three break points, before closing out the first set 6-4.
The second and third sets opened in Djokovic’s favor 4-1 and 4-2, respectively, but the 26-year old Serb couldn’t hold either lead, perhaps wilting in the 40-degree heat. Djokovic had an uncharacteristically high 40 unforced errors to Murray’s 21, while Murray slammed 36 winners to Djokovic’s 31.
Despite spotting Djokovic a 4-1 lead in the second set, Murray roared back with a break to take the lead 6-5, before closing out Djokovic on his serve 7-5.
Djokovic again sprinted to a 4-2 lead in the third set, sparking hopes that he could extend the match. Murray had other ideas and broke serve again, then tied the set 4-4 from a forehand off a failed drop shot from Djokovic. From that point on, Djokovic appeared defeated, once again broken at 4-5, with Murray serving for the match. However, Djokovic would not go down with a fight, saving three championship matches, before netting a backhand, ensuring England had its first men’s Wimbledon champion in 77 years. Finally.