Nick Bollettieri on Andy Murray's victory at Wimbledon 2013: Oh baby, in all my time it has never been better

 

Wimbledon

Holy, holy, holy mackerel and all the fish in the all seas. I have been watching tennis for 60 years – 60 years and I have never seen a more emotionally draining occasion than the one on Centre Court on Sunday. Oh baby, it was special. As a New Yorker it takes something to say this but this, a Wimbledon final below perfect blue skies, is a setting that I don’t think can be beaten. Add a Brit winning and there you go. It cannot get better.

I did not expect three sets and the way the match started off, those long thudding rallies, boom, boom, boom, 30 minutes for the first couple of games, long points, long games. So where did Andy Murray win it? Because let’s just be straight with this – Novak Djokovic did not lose it, Murray won it.

The audience

Home advantage? Or home pressure, history pressing down on your guy’s broad shoulders? It was home advantage. In the semi-final Murray used the support to lift him and on Sunday he surfed that wave to perfection. The Wimbledon crowd do not have a reputation as real homies but this time they just could not help themselves.

“The atmosphere was incredible for him – not for me!” said Novak afterwards. Unquestionably it helped Murray. No doubt about it.

The movement

But he still had to go out on that court and win a tennis match. There was something else Novak said after the match. He said that Andy Murray was all over the place and this was the single most important factor in why Britain now has a Wimbledon champion.

Murray’s movement was amazing. It was like he had had Richard Williams in his locker room. Richard used to tell his girls, Serena and Venus, to never give up on a point, never ever and that is how Murray approached the match. He ran down everything. His speed was phenomenal and it got to Djokovic.

He made some 40 unforced errors in three sets, which is a hell of a tally for a guy of Djokovic’s class (and, hey, I still see him as the best in the world and can’t see this one defeat ending that). Murray rushed Djokovic – everywhere he looked there he was and that disturbed the Serb.

Murray’s fitness and the improvement in his physicality has been a feature of his improvement over the last couple of years. He is such a fit man and it makes a difference. It  certainly did yesterday as he was fit and fast. This really was the absolute key – Murray had the moves, man.

The serve

This is another area where Murray has made such strides in recent years and it was in full working order, unlike the man across the net. Djokovic did not serve well and Murray chalked up 17 break points. The first serve percentage was actually marginally in the Serb’s favour but he also had more double faults and half the number of aces. Murray kept his cool and kept his serve working in the heat.

The return

Murray is one of the best in the game at getting that goddamn ball back over the net. Obviously the movement is an  important part of that – being in the right place at the right time – but he created the pressure on Djokovic knowing that he had to fight to save every service point. The two-handed backhand – oh boy, do I love that shot – was firing missiles. There was one in particular late in the second set that scudded across the net and the point ended with Djokovic venting his frustration at the course the match was taking.

The mind

“I persevered,” said Andy of how he has got here. He has had parts of the game for a long time but bringing that all together and capping it with mental strength is what makes a winner.

On Sunday he was all there up top. So cool throughout. In the second set he looked up at the scoreboard and saw it reading 4-1 in Novak’s favour. Or maybe he didn’t see it all. He was so focused on the end game. He is a champion.

 

Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicReview: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses papparrazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
News
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik, 37, 2.59 meter (8,5 feet) tall, the world's tallest living man, waves as he poses for the media by the Chevrolet Tacuma car presented to him by President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on March 24, 2008.
newsPeasant farmer towered at almost 8'5'' - but shunned the limelight
News
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in ‘The Front Page’, using an old tech typewriter
media
Life and Style
Could a robot sheepdog find itself working at Skipton Auction Mart?
techModel would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian
film
Sport
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
sportWinger arrives from Real Madrid and could make debut on Saturday
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Hooked on classical: cellist Rachael Lander began drinking to combat panic attacks
musicThe cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow...
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis