TENNIS: Victory for Andy Murray on the most famous stage in tennis was even sweeter the second time around.
Three years ago Murray’s overwhelming emotion after ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles champion at Wimbledon was one of relief, but after winning the All England Club title for a second time the Scot said he was determined to enjoy the moment.
“I feel happier this time, more content,” Murray said after beating Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6 7-6 with a performance that was even more dominant than the scoreline might suggest. “Last time it was just pure relief, and I didn’t really enjoy the moment as much, whereas I’m going to make sure I enjoy this one more.
“The last time it was such a big thing for a British man to win Wimbledon. It had been so long, I was so relieved that I’d done that. It was a question I’d been asked so many times over the course of my career. It’s something you start to think about and put more and more pressure on yourself to do it.
“I want to spend this time with my family, my closest friends and the people that I work with. That’s who I want to be around right now. I’ll make sure I spend a lot of time with them over the next couple of days.”
From the moment Murray won his first match for the loss of only nine games, the world No.2 has looked like a man on a mission. He has played some of the best tennis of his life in the past fortnight and his professionalism and focus have been unwavering.
This was his 12th successive victory, preserving his unbeaten sequence since Ivan Lendl returned to coach him for a second time last month, but in truth has been on a roll for more than two months now. In his last five tournaments he has won the Rome Masters, Aegon Championships and Wimbledon and finished runner-up at the Madrid Masters and French Open.
This victory was his third in his 11 grand slam finals and ended a run of three successive losses, all to Novak Djokovic. Defeat would have seen him become the first man in the Open era to lose the first three grand slam finals of the year after Djokovic beat him in the Australian and French Opens.
Meanwhile the domination of the “Big Four” of Murray, Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal shows no sign of ending. No player outside that group has won the title at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt’s victory in 2002.
“I’m just really proud that I managed to do it again after a lot of tough losses in the latter stages of the slams over the last couple of years,” Murray said.
He added that having become a father earlier this year had given him “extra motivation to work hard, train hard, and do all of the right things to give myself a chance to win these events”.
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