Andy Murray ended his country's 76-year-long wait for a major tennis title when he defeated Novak Djokovic to win the U.S. Open final Monday. He is the first Briton to win a grand slam singles title in the modern era. The last Briton to have who won the grand Slam was Fred Perry in 1936. He had won the U.S. Championships, the predecessor to the US open.
In a nerve-racking 5-set thriller, Murray beat the defending champion and number two ranked Djokovic in 7-6 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 to victory. It has been a long wait for Murray too, as on four occasions in the past he had he came close to winning titles but lost out in the finals.
He lost in the finals of the Australian Open to Djokovic in 2011, lost to Roger Federer at the 2008 U.S. Open, 2010 Australian Open and in the Wimbledon finals this year. He beat Federer to win the Olympic gold medal in front of a home crowd in 2012.
"I have been asked about it many times when I got close to winning grand slams before," said Murray, as reported by Reuters.
"You're in a little bit of disbelief because when I have been in that position many times before and not won... Is it ever going to happen? Then when it finally does, you're obviously very, very excited.
"I hope now it inspires some kids to play tennis and also takes away the notion that British tennis players choke or don't win, or it's not a good sport," he said.
After winning the match in New York City's National Tennis Centre, Murray appeared relieved of the pressure on him to end the wait for a Grand Slam title after he reached the finals.
"I was mainly relieved to have got over that last hurdle...I was obviously very emotional. I cried a little bit on the court," he said. "You're not sad, you're incredibly happy," Reuters quoted Murray saying.
Djokovic was all praise for Murray after the match. "It wasn't to be and I want to congratulate Andy on a first Grand Slam. He deserves it. I tried my best and I gave it my all. It was another tremendous match and I am proud to have been part of it. It went to the last moment," he said.
The British press celebrated the glory, lauding Murray's achievement with the best superlatives. BBC's chief sportswriter described his feat as "one of the great finals of the modern era."
Murray will now be placed as World No. 3 only behind No. 1 Federer and No. 2 Djokovic.
Check out Murray's winning moments in pictures.