Murray finally does it in epic US Open final win

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Updated: September 11, 2012

History-making Andy Murray ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a men’s Grand Slam champion when he beat 2011 winner Novak Djokovic 7-6 (12/10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in an epic US Open final in the small hours of Tuesday morning.

Murray became Britain’s first major champion since Fred Perry claimed his third American title in 1936, the year the Spanish Civil War started and Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected US president.

In a roller-coaster final, which witnessed a 54-shot rally, numerous 30-stroke exchanges, as well as a record-setting tie-breaker, the 25-year-old Murray held his nerve in a knife-edge final set.

The Olympic champion led 3-0 in the decider, dropped serve but broke again for 5-2 when Djokovic called a medical time-out. But Murray wasn’t to be denied, taking the historic crown when Djokovic went long with a forehand on a second match point in what was, at four hours and 54 minutes, the equal-longest US Open final of all-time.

Murray had lost all of his four previous Grand Slam finals — to Roger Federer at the US Open in 2008, the 2010 Australian Open and this year’s Wimbledon, as well as to Djokovic in Australia in 2011.

But cheered on by fellow Scots Sir Sean Connery and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, he survived a thrilling fightback by Djokovic, a five-time major winner who had defeated Murray in an epic five-setter in the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

It was Murray’s 24th career title and his win denied Djokovic the chance to claim the biggest pay-day in the history of the sport, $2.9 million for winning the trophy as well as having the best record in the lead-up tournaments.

The match itself was a minute short of the longest mens final in US Open history, and that honour belongs to Wilander and his coach Lendl when they slugged it out in 1987. The influence of Lendl in the Murray camp has without question helped the young Scots game develop from a mental point of view, the only major aspect that was missing.