The tears flowed freely as ‘The History Boy’ wrote another chapter in his illustrious career on Sunday at the All England Club.
Three years on from ending Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a male champion at SW19, Andy Murray captured his second Wimbledon crown and third major championship overall as he defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2).
Watched by HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge from the front of the Royal Box, Murray became the 12th player in the Open Era to win multiple Wimbledon titles.
Interviewed by Sue Barker on court, Murray said, “This is the most important tournament for me every year. I’ve had some great moments here and also some tough losses. The wins feel extra special because of the tough losses. I’m proud to have my hands on the trophy again.
“I played really good stuff today. Milos has had a great few weeks on the grass and had some unbelievable wins. His match against Roger in the semis was a great, great match. He is one of the hardest workers out there, always trying to improve and get better.”
Victory marked Murray’s first Grand Slam championship victory since his Wimbledon triumph in 2013, when he defeated Novak Djokovic. Murray had also beaten the Serbian one year earlier to lift his first major trophy at the US Open.
The Scot improved to a 3-8 mark in Grand Slam finals, having lost his past three major finals to Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2015-16 and last month at Roland Garros.
For the first time in his career, Murray was playing an opponent other than Djokovic or Roger Federer in a Grand Slam final. Federer had beaten Murray in his first attempt in the Wimbledon final in 2012, but the Swiss was beaten this year by Raonic in five sets in the semi-finals, while defending champion Djokovic suffered a shock third-round exit to Sam Querrey.
By reaching the final at Wimbledon, with victory over Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals, second seed Murray became the second player behind Djokovic to book his place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, held at The O2 in London from 13-20 November.
See Murray at The O2
Murray had advanced to the Wimbledon final for the loss of just two sets – surviving a five-set encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals – and was the stronger player throughout as he faced sixth seed Raonic for the 10th time.
Just three weeks on from their contest in the final of the Aegon Championships, where Murray prevailed after Raonic had led by a set and a break, Murray recorded his sixth win in a row over the Canadian (7-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head record).
World No. 2 Murray broke through in the seventh game of the first set as Raonic netted a forehand volley. Raonic fended off break points in the first, seventh and ninth games of the second set to force a tie-break, but a volley error on the first point by the Canadian set the tone as Murray raced away to seal a two-set lead.
Raonic created his first break point opportunities of the match in the fifth game of the third set, with Murray trailing 15/40, but the Scot denied him on both as he held for a 3-2 lead. But Murray again controlled the ensuing tie-break to wrap up victory on his second championship point in two hours and 47 minutes.
The 25-year-old Raonic was bidding to become the first Canadian male to win a Grand Slam singles crown after reaching his first major final. The Toronto native, who added John McEnroe to his coaching team for the grass-court swing – alongside Riccardo Piatti and Carlos Moya – was looking to become the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ to win Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.
Speaking on court, Raonic said, “It’s a difficult challenge. Andy’s playing great and deserves to win here for a second time. This one’s going to sting. So I’m going to make sure I do everything I can to be back here for another chance.
“It’s been a phenomenal two weeks and a phenomenal week just before that at Queen’s. I keep plugging away every single day to give myself chances. There’s nothing I want more than to be back here.”
The match was watched by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, actors Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugh Grant, as well as tennis legends Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Roy Emerson, Manuel Santana, Stan Smith and Fred Stolle.