Novak Djokovic pays tribute to Andy Murray after US Open final

 

Novak Djokovic hailed Andy Murray as a true champion after the Scot finally won his first grand slam title in an epic US Open final.

Playing in his fifth final and desperate to avoid joining Fred Stolle as the only man ever to lose his first five, Murray looked firmly on course when he won both the opening two sets.

But Djokovic, who had not lost a grand slam match on hard courts for two years, fought back to level before Murray eventually came through 7-6 (12/10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 after four hours and 54 minutes.

There was a real desire within tennis for the 25-year-old to win a title, even from Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the men who have so often denied him.

Djokovic said: "Any loss is a bad loss. There is no question about it. I'm disappointed to lose the match but, in the back of my mind, I knew that I gave it all. I really, really tried to fight my way back through.

"I had a great opponent today. He deserved to win this grand slam more than anybody, I'm sure, because over the years he's been a top player.

"He's been so close, lost four finals. Now he has won it, so I would like to congratulate him. I'm definitely happy that he won it.

"He's played so consistently well and won against the top players many times on many surfaces. He has proven today that he's a champion and he deserves to be where he is, no question about it."

The match was played in windy conditions, which Murray certainly coped with better, for the first two sets at least.

Djokovic had struggled badly in his semi-final against David Ferrer on Saturday before the match was postponed because of the threat of a tornado, but he did not use it as an excuse.

The Serb said: "He played well. It was a struggle for both of us to deal with the conditions. At times we made a lot of unforced errors, at times we played some great points.

"The two sides of the court were different. Playing with the wind and against the win is a huge advantage or disadvantage. But it was the same for both of us.

"The beginning of the fifth set was the turning point, it was crucial. I should have not lost the two breaks in a row. After that, it was really tough to come back."

It was the first grand slam meeting between Murray and Djokovic since their Australian Open semi-final in January, which also went to five sets.

On that occasion it was Djokovic who came out on top but Murray beat him at the Olympics in their last meeting a month ago, and coach Ivan Lendl has had a major impact on the Scot since they began working together at the start of this year.

Djokovic believes the main change has been in his rival's head, adding: "He has made maybe a couple of adjustments in his game. Maybe he goes for his forehand more than he used to.

"But he was always one of the best players to play in the men's game the last couple of years. It was always a challenge to any of us on any surface. I think it was mental for him in the end to really make a breakthrough."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee