Andy Murray: 2016 Wimbledon champion
Originally published on 10/07/16 00:00
The world No.2 won 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(2) on Centre Court to lift the third Grand Slam title of his career and match the major tally of Arthur Ashe, Jan Kodes and Gustavo Kuerten.
“I feel happier this time. I feel more content,” Murray said of his second Wimbledon title. “I feel like this was sort of more for myself more than anything, and my team as well. We've all worked really hard to help get me in this position.
“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 than the others.”
Murray had reached the final of all three majors this year, but had lost in the finals at the Australian Open and Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic’s third-round defeat to Sam Querrey blown the draw wide open, but Murray insisted that the defending champion’s shock defeat was only relevant to him if he made it to the final.
By contrast, Raonic, who was in Djokovic’s quarter of the draw, avoided having to play the world No.1 in the quarter-finals, before beating seven-time champion Roger Federer in the last four to reach his first Grand Slam final.
For Murray it was his 11th Grand Slam final, but the first time he did not have to play either Djokovic or Federer.
“I think when I was out there at the tight moments in the tiebreaks, knowing I'd been in that position before, knowing how maybe [Raonic] would have felt at those moments, being his first Grand Slam final, I do think that helped me a little bit during the match,” Murray said.
Much had been made of Raonic’s serve – he had hit 137 aces coming into the final and a top service speed of 144mph during his semi-final win over Federer.
Raonic hit the fastest serve of the tournament – a 147mph body serve – late in the second set, but Murray was equal to it, and won the point to bring up break point.
Although Murray was unable to convert that break point – he only broke Raonic once in the match, he was clinical on the big points – winning both tiebreaks comfortably – and made just 12 unforced errors compared to Raonic’s 29.
“I served very well today,” said Murray. “I knew I was going to have to. I wasn't serving as well at the beginning of the match. But as [the match] went on, I got a lot of free points from my serve."
Murray defeated Djokovic in both the 2012 US Open final and 2013 Wimbledon final, and three years since his last major victory, Murray got his hands on the trophy for a second time.
It is Murray’s first Grand Slam since he became a father – his daughter Sophia was born in February – but more significantly, it was his first major win since Ivan Lendl returned to his team. Lendl was Murray’s coach for his first two Grand Slam wins but the two parted company in March 2014 before rejoining forces before the grasscourt season.
“Obviously having a child gives you a different perspective,” said Murray. It also has given me a little bit of extra motivation to work hard, train hard, and do all of the right things to give myself a chance to win these events.
“A lot of people have said when Roger [Federer] had kids, he started playing some of his best tennis. Novak [Djokovic], the same thing. But the reality is you still have to put the work in. You still have to have the drive and the dedication to train hard.”