In the swirling winds of Flushing Meadow and the high expectations of the Arthur Ashe stadium, Scotland’s Andy Murray finally won his maiden Grand Slam tournament and ended Britain’s 76-year drought for a men’s singles major winner. After being a runner-up four times, most recently at Wimbledon, Murray had eclipsed his coach, Ivan Lendl, with the unwanted Open-era record of the most final appearances in majors without a win.
In a Hollywood-esque setting, Murray beat world number two, Novak Djokovic, in a thriller in New York. After leading two sets to love thanks to a winning a mammoth 24 minute, opening set, tie-break and taking the next set 7-5, the Scot was in cruise control. But five time major winner and defending US Open champion Djokovic, who had not lost a Grand Slam hard court match since the 2010 US Open battled back to level the match. At that stage, the momentum was with the Serb and many thought that this would be yet another painful and teary conclusion to a Murray final.
However, in the final set Djokovic lost his opening two service games resulting in a 3-0 lead for the Scotsman in the final set. Murray held his nerve and served out the set winning 6-2. By winning the US Open he becomes only the second winner (along with Juan Martin del Potro) of a Grand Slam tournament outside Federer, Nadal and Djokovic since 2005.
After losing his second major final this year, Djokovic was gracious in defeat –“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. Definitely happy that he won it.”
Murray’s first major win now all but confirms that this is an exceptional era with four, truly magnificent, tennis players. The Four Kings. “[We] four, we are taking this game to another level, and it’s really nice to be part of such a strong men’s tennis era… We get to the later stages of every single Grand Slam. Andy winning tonight makes it even more competitive and more interesting for people to watch it.”
Murray has now quickly turned his attentions to the world number one spot. “To do that, you need to be consistent throughout the whole year. That’s something that Novak and Roger and Rafa have done incredibly well the last few years. He made it very, very difficult for guys to get up there. I’m definitely going to try. It’s something I’d love to do, to get to No. 1.”