Andy Murray wins U.S. Open and ends 76-year UK agony
By Dave James,AFP
September 12, 2012, 12:00 am TWN
NEW YORK -- History-making Andy Murray ended Britain's 76-year wait for a men's Grand Slam champion when he beat 2011 winner Novak Djokovic 7-6 (12/10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in an epic U.S. Open final on Monday.
Murray became Britain's first major champion since Fred Perry claimed his third American title in 1936, the year the Spanish Civil War started and Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected U.S. president.
In a roller-coaster final, which witnessed a 54-shot rally, numerous 30-stroke exchanges, as well as a record-setting tie-breaker, the 25-year-old Murray held his nerve in a knife-edge final set.
The Olympic champion led 3-0 in the decider, dropped serve but broke again for 5-2 when Djokovic called a medical time-out.
But Murray wasn't to be denied, taking the historic crown when Djokovic went long with a forehand on a second match point in what was, at four hours and 54 minutes, the second-longest U.S. Open final of all time.
"It was incredibly tricky conditions and in the third and fourth sets, it was really tough because Novak is really strong and fights all the way," said Murray.
"It was close to five hours. I have always had tough matches with him."
Murray paid tribute to coach Ivan Lendl, who lost three finals in New York from 1982-1984 until clinching three titles in a row from 1985-1987.
"He was one of the greatest," Murray said. "He has helped me through the tough times as have all of my team. It's the best feeling for me, I've had an unbelievable summer."
Djokovic admitted Murray was a worthy winner.
"It wasn't to be and I want to congratulate Andy on a first Grand Slam. He deserves it," said Djokovic.
"I tried my best and I gave it my all. It was another tremendous match and I am proud to have been part of it. It went to the last moment."
Murray had lost all of his four previous Grand Slam finals — to Roger Federer at the U.S. Open in 2008, the 2010 Australian Open and this year's Wimbledon, as well as to Djokovic in Australia in 2011.