Remembering when Andy Murray ended Britain’s wait for Wimbledon win

Andy Murray’s career achievements are many but he will always be remembered above all as the man who ended a 77-year wait for a British men’s singles champion at Wimbledon.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at an unforgettable two weeks in SW19.

From tears to glory

Murray became tearful after losing the 2012 Wimbledon final to Roger Federer
Murray became tearful after losing the 2012 Wimbledon final to Roger Federer (Adam Davy/PA)

The tournament lasted a fortnight but Murray’s journey to the trophy began a year earlier in 2012 when he made it to the final for the first time only to lose to Roger Federer. The tears he shed on Centre Court made the country see him in a new light and Murray gained revenge weeks later by winning Olympic gold on the same court with a thumping victory over the great Swiss before breaking his grand slam duck at the US Open.

Background

Andy Murray lifts the trophy at Queen's Club
Andy Murray lifts the trophy at Queen’s Club (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Murray began the year with his third defeat in an Australian Open final, to Novak Djokovic. He won the big Masters title in Miami after a gruelling battle with David Ferrer to climb to world number two but struggled during the clay-court swing and pulled out of the French Open citing a back injury. He returned on the grass at Queen’s Club, winning the title for a third time, and went into Wimbledon as the second seed.

First week

Sergiy Stakhovsky celebrates victory over Roger Federer
Sergiy Stakhovsky celebrates victory over Roger Federer (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Murray cruised through a dramatic first week. The Scot did not drop a set in victories over Benjamin Becker, Lu Yen-hsun and Tommy Robredo as big names fell around him. Rafael Nadal lost in the first round of a grand slam for the first time against Steve Darcis while Roger Federer’s run of 36 consecutive slam quarter-finals was ended by Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round in one of the great shocks. A number of players were forced out through injury after falling, leading to much discussion about the condition of the courts.

Big scare

Andy Murray shows his relief after beating Fernando Verdasco
Andy Murray shows his relief after beating Fernando Verdasco (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Murray eased to another straight-sets win over Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round but his campaign very nearly ended in the quarter-finals against talented Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Murray lost the first two sets before mounting one of his trademark comebacks to win 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5. “It was tough,” said the Scot. “The second set was a bad set of tennis for me. I was 3-1 up and then made some bad mistakes. I turned it round really well after that.”

Semi-final

Murray celebrates with Jerzy Janowicz in the background
Murray celebrates with Jerzy Janowicz in the background (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The carnage of the first week meant Murray found himself facing an unexpected opponent in the last four in Jerzy Janowicz. It was a grand slam breakthrough for the tall Pole, who won a first-set tie-break in impressive fashion before Murray turned things around to take a two-sets-to-one lead. The match had not begun until the evening because of a titanic first semi-final between Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro, and Murray was furious at the roof being deployed for the fourth set, but he finished off the job well.

The final

Murray (left) got the better of old foe Djokovic
Murray (left) got the better of old foe Djokovic (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Murray found himself facing his great foe Djokovic once again. The Serbian was seeded number one and a seven-time grand slam champion but the feeling was that this was Murray’s moment and he seized it to win 6-4 7-5 6-4. The home favourite, who was roared on by a patriotic crowd, was the better player throughout but this was far from a straightforward straight-sets win. It boiled down to the tensest of final games, lasting 10 minutes, where Murray eventually clinched victory on his fourth match point when Djokovic netted a backhand.

Legacy

Murray, left, defeated Milos Raonic to win Wimbledon again in 2016
Murray, left, defeated Milos Raonic to win Wimbledon again in 2016 (Adam Davy/PA)

Murray won a second Wimbledon title three years later in less tense fashion against Milos Raonic, ensuring he celebrated fully having been left completely drained by his 2013 achievement. He also guided Britain to the Davis Cup title and finished 2016 as world number one. Serious hip problems have kept him off the court for much of the last three years but he remains hopeful of competing at the top level again.

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