London, July 08, 2013: Andy Murray has become the first British men’s champion at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 after defeating Novak Djokovic 64 75 64 in Sunday’s final.
On a scorching day at the All England Club (court temperatures at one point touched 49.8c in the direct sunlight), the world No. 2 produced a fiercely determined display that saw him master the world No. 1 in straight sets. It was Djokovic’s first straight sets defeat in a Grand Slam match since he lost to Tomas Berdych in the 2010 Wimbledon semifinals.
“The bottom line is that he was a better player in decisive moments,” conceded Djokovic. “Both second and third sets, I was 4 2 up and dropped the serve in those games and just allowed him to come back for no reason.
“He was getting some incredible shots on the stretch and running down the dropshots. He was all over the court. He played fantastic tennis, no question about it. He deserved to win.”
For Murray, the lingering questions about 1936 are no more. The first British man to win this tournament since Fred Perry, he is the first Briton to claim the title here since Virginia Wade in 1977. By winning the title on his 8th appearance at Wimbledon, he slots neatly into second place for the most attempts to win Wimbledon behind Goran Ivanisevic, who triumphed on his 14th attempt here in 2001.
Also the champion at Queen’s in the run up to Wimbledon, Murray is the first man to win Wimbledon after having won one of the pre-Wimbledon warm-up events since Rafael Nadal in 2008. But such nuggets are little but a sideshow to an all-important fact, Murray now has tennis’ most coveted title in his possession.
The final swung both ways early in each set, with Murray a break down in both the second and third sets, but the Scot was often in the ascendancy. In the third set, he brought up three Championship points at 5-4 but saw the Serb peg him back to 40-all in a game that he described as “the hardest of my life”.
“He came up with some unbelievable shots in that last game,” said Murray. “I maybe played one bad point at deuce. I remember missing a forehand in the net. I worked so hard in that last game. It’s the hardest few points I’ve had to play in my life.”
Ultimately, Murray dug in to pull off the biggest win of his life.
“Winning Wimbledon I think is the pinnacle of tennis,” added the Scot. “The last game almost increased that feeling. You know, if I had closed it out at 40 Love…. I worked so hard in that last game. It’s the hardest few points I’ve had to play in my life. “
And how did it compare to the moment he won his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2012?
“It was a different match to the US Open,” said Murray. “Winning Wimbledon, yeah, I still can’t believe it. Can’t get my head around that. I can’t believe it.”
Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic won the mixed doubles final after defeating Bruno Soares and Lisa Raymond 57 62 86.
Bartoli’s Wimbledon delight
Marion Bartoli became the latest name to be etched on to the roll of honour at Wimbledon after she defeated Sabine Lisicki 61 64 in the women’s final on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Frenchwoman produced a dominant display from start to finish, overwhelming a nervous Lisicki with solid strokes and clever tactics to wrap up victory in just 1 hour 21 minutes. Bartoli didn’t drop a set on the way to her first Grand Slam title, which came in her 47th appearance at a major.
“I really felt I was playing probably my best match of the championship. I was doing everything well, I was moving well, I was returning well. I mean, I really played a wonderful match,” said Bartoli. “It’s really amazing to win Wimbledon. And also playing well, as well, it’s just unbelievable.”
Lisicki was the pre-match favourite after she took out Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska on the way to her first Grand Slam final, however the occasion proved too much and she failed to make an impact on the match.
Nerves got the better of the German and she was reduced to tears in the second set as yet another double fault took its toll. She staged a mini-comeback at 5-1 down in the second set to peg the score back to 4-5 but was powerless to stop the No. 15 seed from serving out the match on her second attempt.
“It’s an occasion that you don’t get every day so it’s something completely new for me,”
explained Lisicki. “But I will learn and take away so much from it. I’ve done that in the past. Experience has always helped me so much. I hope that next time it will help me to do that one step further.”
No. 8 seeds Hseih Su-Wei (TPE) and Peng Shuai (CHN) claimed the women’s doubles title after defeating Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 76 61 in the final. It was Chinese Taipei’s first Grand Slam title. —- ITF/Photo: Paul Zimmer