Tenacious Murray neutralises Raonic to taste Wimbledon glory again
An emotional Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title with a brilliant display that neutralised the powerful Milos Raonic in a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2) victory on Centre Court on Sunday.
Second seed Murray had won just two of his 10 prior major finals, but never looked like suffering another defeat as he charged to his third grand-slam triumph and first since winning at the All England Club in 2013.
The tenacious Brit returned with consistent excellence to cancel out Raonic's monstrous serve, which had only been broken in five games in the tournament prior to the final, as the return of coach Ivan Lendl, under whom he won his only two previous majors, paid immediate dividends.
Raonic took a set and a break lead in when the pair met in the Queen's Club final last month, and, although he came out on top in that match, Murray worked to ensure that did not happen again.
The Canadian, clearly benefitting from the influence of having John McEnroe on his coaching team, imposed himself by regularly charging up the court, but a volley into the net handed Murray the first break, and the world number two pulled off a similar shot to take the opening set.
Murray's irrepressible returning continued to put pressure on his opponent, successfully winning a point off a 147-mile-per-hour serve - the fastest of the competition and joint second-quickest in Wimbledon history - in game nine of the second set before Raonic dug in to hold.
However, a costly unforced error from the sixth seed and a sensational show of defensive tennis enabled Murray to secure a pair of mini-breaks that led to him going two sets up.
The Brit produced a number of deadly passing shots on his forehand throughout, but his grit and determination proved crucial to keeping him ahead, holding in game five of the third after staving off the first two break points of the match he faced.
Raonic showed the mettle that helped him come from behind to beat Roger Federer in the semi-finals with a hold to love when 5-4 down, and a second tie-break of the match followed.
A backhand pass was followed by a long lob as Murray took a 3-0 lead, and from there the Canadian was unable to recover as the world number two made up for defeats in this year's Australian Open and French Open finals by getting his hands on the trophy that arguably means the most to him.