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Rediff.com  » Sports » Murray relieved to end 36-month Grand Slam drought

Murray relieved to end 36-month Grand Slam drought

July 11, 2016 00:50 IST

Britain's Andy Murray kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning his Wimbledon win against Canada's Milos Raonic on Saturday

IMAGE: Britain's Andy Murray kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning his Wimbledon win against Canada's Milos Raonic on Saturday. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Once the immediate euphoria of winning Wimbledon for a second time had subsided, the tears flowing down Andy Murray's face bore testament to the sheer relief surging through his body.

Instead of gallivanting up the stands through the throng of spectators to hug his nearest and dearest -- as he had done in 2013 when he ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion -- Murray simply slumped into his chair and sobbed into a towel relieved to have ended a 36-month search for a third grand slam title with victory over Milos Raonic.

That barren stretch had included coming off second best in this year's Australian and French Open finals to his nemesis-in-chief, Novak Djokovic.

While the World No 1’s shock third-round departure from Wimbledon elevated Murray to the title favourite during the second week of the championships, he also knew that one false move on Sunday could leave him with the dubious distinction of becoming the first man in the professional era to lose the finals of the season's first three grand slam events.

Andy Murray cries after winning match point

IMAGE: Andy Murray cries after winning match point. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

"I've had some great moments but also some tough losses and this win feels extra special because of the tough losses," Murray said moments after spotting his name on the gilded surface of the Challenge Cup.

"I'm proud to get my hands on the trophy again," added the 29-year-old, who beat Raonic 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(2).

"To have the Prime Minister watching... I think playing Wimbledon is tough but that seems an impossible job," he added evoking laughter from the crowd.

With the 15,000-strong crowd, which included greats such as Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker, roaring their approval, there was one man on Centre Court who maintained a poker face throughout the jubilant celebrations.

A month after rekindling his coaching relationship with Murray following a two-year hiatus, it was job done for Ivan Lendl as Murray's win-loss record during the grasscourt season stood at 12-0.

Andy Murray's wife Kim, his coach Ivan Lendl and his team celebrate in his box

IMAGE: Andy Murray's wife Kim, his coach Ivan Lendl and his team celebrate in his box. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Lendl has now proved that when it comes to Murray, he is the coach with the Midas touch.

During their first spell together, the Scot had won his previous two slam titles and the Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

In Lendl's absence, Murray had reached three major finals but each time Djokovic had proved to be a recurring nightmare that simply would not go away.

However, after winning only two of his previous 10 slam finals, the world number two hopes Sunday's victory and his reunion with Lendl will put him on the path to re-addressing that imbalance.

"Last time (in 2013) I was so relieved... there was so much stress and pressure, I didn't really get a chance to enjoy it as much," said Murray after he won his first major since getting married and becoming a father.

"I'll make sure I enjoy this one."

Murray also received a shout out on Twitter by his former coach Amelie Mauresmo.

"Andyyyyyyyyyyy! Fantastic achievement ! Well deserved,” she wrote on her handle with multiple happy emoticons to express her joy at former ward’s achievement.

Canada's Milos Raonic with the runner-up trophy  

IMAGE: Canada's Milos Raonic with the runner-up trophy. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Murray faced just two break points in the two hour 48 minute encounter while 25-year-old Raonic, who had clobbered 137 aces going into the final, managed just eight on Sunday.

"It's a difficult challenge. Andy has been playing great and he deserved to win, congratulations to him," Raonic said.

"This one is going to sting. I'm going to make sure I do everything I can to be back here for another chance."

Raonic was attempting to become the first Canadian to win a Slam title but he was thwarted by Murray's tough-as-teak defence and inspired return game.

In the final analysis, his 29 unforced errors compared to Murray's miserly 12 proved fatal in a match where serve was broken just once.

With this win the 'Big Four' sealed their domination in the last decade with Lleyton Hewitt the last man outside of Murray, Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal to win Wimbledon back in 2002.

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