The day Andy Murray won Wimbledon
Britain had waited 77 years for a men’s singles champion at SW19. Five interested spectators relive that special afternoon
Andy Murray, who had lost to Roger Federer 12 months earlier, reached his second successive Wimbledon final after recovering from two sets down against Fernando Verdasco and a set down against Jerzy Janowicz. His opponent, Novak Djokovic, the world No 1 and 2011 champion, had a tougher passage and needed nearly five hours to beat Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals
Greg Rusedski “After Andy won at Queen’s I always thought this would be his year. Andy’s a better grass-court player than Djokovic and after winning the Olympics at Wimbledon and losing to Federer in the final the previous year, he just wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.”
Judy Murray “I thought this might be Andy’s time. He had the experience of playing in the final the year before, he had won the Olympics on the same court and the US Open. But you never know what it feels like for a player.
“Since Andy was very small Wimbledon has been the thing for him. After Tim and Greg retired, all the expectation was heaped on him. I think he handled that unbelievably well, but you can never know how the emotion or pressure of the occasion is going to affect him.”
Jamie Murray “Of course I would rather have been on Centre Court, but I had to be in Stuttgart because we could have played the next day. I watched with my wife on a computer in our hotel room because the final wasn’t on TV. I just didn’t want to watch with other people around.”
An opening point of 18 strokes sets the tone for a match full of lengthy rallies
Rusedski “From the start I didn’t think Djokovic was the self-confident guy we’d seen in the past or at the start of this year. He looked nervous, as though he was affected by the crowd and the atmosphere.
“Andy got his strategy right immediately. I remember a lot of forehands cross-court on the run from Andy that kept him in good stead. And when Andy held his ground, Djokovic made unforced errors.”
Murray converts his seventh break point to lead 2-1 in the opening set, but Djokovic breaks back immediately. At 3-3 there are already 34 minutes on the clock
Tim Henman “Both players looked exhausted after six games. Throughout the clay-court and grass-court seasons there had been no really hot weather, but for the final it was so hot. I remember going around the grounds with Boris Becker beforehand. We were in our suits and it was uncomfortably hot.
“Given the nervous tension and length of the rallies, it was brutal for the players. They played only three sets – on a grass court – but it took three hours and 10 minutes. That emphasised just how long the rallies were and how tough the games were.”
Murray breaks again in the seventh game and serves out for the first set. Djokovic breaks to lead 3-1 in the second set after successive points are decided by a 28-stroke rally and then a 30-stroke rally
Henman “I can’t believe I ever played a grass-court rally that long. We didn’t even manage 30 shots in the knock-up, when we were hitting the ball straight at each other.”
Djokovic, upping a gear, goes 4-1 ahead in the second set
Judy Murray “I wasn’t really worried. Breaks of serve are always likely when Andy and Novak meet. They both have big serves, but they also read the serves very well and are great returners, great retrievers, great defenders and anticipators. If they get broken they always have a chance to break back.”
Jamie Murray “I don’t get as nervous watching Andy as he says he does watching me – probably because I get to watch a lot more of his matches than he does mine. I’ve watched him so many times and his record in the Slams has been so good for so long.”
David Spearing “Ivan Lendl usually sits right in front of me. I’m impressed how he stays so calm. When Andy hits a good shot, others might get very excited but the most Lendl does is pat his hand on the parapet in front of him. I think he’s made a big difference since he became his coach.
“In the past Murray would at times turn to the box and express himself in language that perhaps he shouldn’t. I felt his body language handed an advantage to his opponent. But in the last two years he has become more mature and doesn’t get as excited.”
From 1-4 down, Murray recovers to win the second set 7-5
Judy Murray “My two brothers and their wives had driven down for the end of the tournament. My mum had sent down a tin of her shortbread and at the end of the second set my brother started passing it round. I was secretly furious with him because he was getting comfortable. They’re obviously not as caught up in it as I am.
“I was sitting on the edge of my seat and as he was passing the shortbread along I was thinking: ‘We’re not on a day trip here. This is the biggest match of his life.’ I just looked at my brother, but he didn’t have a clue what my look meant. I didn’t take any of the shortbread.
“I don’t speak to anybody when I’m watching. I get in my own little zone. I don’t like people speaking to me and probably nobody likes sitting next to me because I’m not good company during matches. I get totally focused on what Andy or Jamie are doing.”
Murray goes 2-0 up in the third set, having won eight of the last nine games. Djokovic wins the next four games before Murray breaks for the sixth and seventh time to lead 5-4
Jamie Murray “There were some great rallies. When you watch the top players, the level is so high at certain points that you just wonder how they do it. I can’t imagine what it takes to stay calm in those moments and still produce such amazing shots, time after time.”
Murray, leading 5-4, serves for the Wimbledon title. He goes 40-0 up
Henman “Andrew Castle, Boris and myself were commentating. We were all incredibly nervous. After the first point I think I said: ‘One down, three to go.’ Andy won the next point and Andrew said: ‘Two down, two to go.’ Andy won the third point and we were waiting for Boris – only for him to go off on one. Before you knew it, the score was back to deuce.”
Djokovic forces three break points, the second after his half-volley hits the top of the net and tumbles over for a winner
Judy Murray “I’ve never been more nervous than in that final game. This was the biggest prize and I knew how much it had hurt Andy to lose last year and how much he wanted to win this one. I knew how hard he had worked over many, many years. I could hear my heart going. I thought to myself: ‘This could be the end of me. I just want this to be over’.”
Rusedski “If Andy had lost that game it could have got very interesting. It could have got very ugly very quickly. But Andy was too tough for him and he just wasn’t going to allow that to happen. The other factor was the crowd. You’ve never heard an atmosphere like it on Centre Court. It was so one-sided.”
Murray creates his fourth match point and converts it when Djokovic nets a backhand. His 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory gives Britain a Wimbledon men’s singles champion for the first time in 77 years
Judy Murray “I saw Andy celebrating at the other end. Then I saw him coming towards the net and I was gone. I was crying. Leon put his arm round me. He was saying: ‘Judy, Judy, look – your son’s just won Wimbledon! Look, for God’s sake, look! You don’t want to miss this moment.’
“I grew up in a household where my mum literally sat in front of the telly for two weeks during Wimbledon. We ate salad for a fortnight because nothing was cooked while Wimbledon was on. Wimbledon was just something you saw on the telly for two weeks of the year. I never would have dreamed that both my kids would win Wimbledon titles.”
Spearing “I moved into a position to block people coming down into the box and stood beside Judy Murray to allow her to join the rest of the team, but she didn’t. Andy climbed into the box and embraced everyone and then went to climb back down. I think Judy was overcome by the whole thing, so I called out: ‘Andy! Your mother!’ That’s when he looked up, climbed back into the box and embraced her. I was pleased that I had saved him from a faux pas of greeting everybody except his dear mother.”
Judy Murray “Part of me wanted to go down and join the others in the box but part of me was also thinking: For years I’ve had to deal with this talk about me being a pushy mum, so the last thing I was going to do was run down and say: ‘What about me?’ But when he turned back of course I had to go down. All he said was: ‘Hi Mum’.”
Jamie Murray “It was a shame I wasn’t there, but I would rather he won and I wasn’t there than be there and see him lose. I was so happy for him. It’s hard to explain how much pressure he’s handled over the years. Other guys don’t have that pressure, trying to win their home Grand Slam.
“For me it was all a bit surreal – watching your brother play in a Wimbledon final in a hotel in Stuttgart on a tiny computer screen. And Stuttgart? We lost in the first round.”
Henman “I had always felt this was Andy’s time, but at the end of the day he still had to deliver. To beat the world’s best player to win Wimbledon, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
When British dreams came true: The cast list
The champion’s mother, watched the final from the row behind the players’ boxes sitting next to Leon Smith, Britain’s Davis Cup captain
The champion’s brother, watched on a computer in Stuttgart, where he was playing in a tournament
Was in the BBC TV commentary box. The former world No 4, runner-up at last week’s Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, played in four Wimbledon semi-finals
Played in this year’s over-35s tournament at the All England Club and watched from the Royal Box. He reached one Wimbledon quarter-final
The 77-year-old is the longest-serving Wimbledon steward, having worked there since 1974. He has been in charge of the players’ boxes, where the entourages sit, for 15 years
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