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The night the challenger became the champion

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Jonathan Overend | 09:07 UK time, Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Murray's head was spinning in the corridors of Flushing Meadows last night.

"I feel very relieved, happy, proud and also very tired..."

Every now and then he would smile, keen to confirm this was, indeed, the best moment of his life, but otherwise this was the classic case of the man needing time for it to sink in.

He munched on a salad and took a call from home. Coach Ivan Lendl hugged him, shared a quiet word and then walked off. "Well done Ivan," I called out. "He won it, not me" was the response, with a smile.

Earlier, champagne had been cracked in the locker room and sprayed over the teetotaller. Murray, who famously hasn't drunk since a messy night in Barcelona as a teen, was set to break the habit of his adult life last night.

And how he deserved the celebration.

This was an incredible performance over almost five hours against a fearsome opponent. He saved his best match for last, his best set for the decider and, as Lendl had requested, he won the final point - the only point which interests the three-time US Open champion.

Andy Murray celebrates after winning the 2012 US Open.

Andy Murray celebrates after beating Novak Djokovic of Serbia to win the men's single final of the 2012 US Open. Photo: Getty

The contest, played in unpredictably blustery winds, turned into a frightening test of will and mental strength.

Murray had been struck by self-doubt in the hour before the match, lonely in the locker room. And so he faced up to the challenge of beating those demons, the past losses and the small matter of one of the best players in the world.

The first set lasted almost a hour and a half. The second he led by a double break, only to see the lead fritter away. He still managed to edge it.

Djokovic, the world number two, the best hard court player in the world, fought back strongly, dangerously, inevitably.

With the iron man resurgent on the other side of the net, Murray was in grave danger of slipping to a fifth final defeat, one which would desperately hurt. That was the logical thought after four hours of magnificent but energy-sapping tennis.

But Murray sprinted out for the start of the fifth and, defending heroically in the corners, Djokovic style, he took control. A few early "come ons" and some great interaction with the boisterous New York crowd certainly helped and, as he pulled clear, reality dawned that this would be the night.

The night when Murray came good on his early promise. The night the challenger became the champion.

He has just beaten the best two players in the world: Federer in straight sets at the Olympics and Djokovic over five at the US Open. He can now move on, relax, and shoot for more Slams and that world number one position. Both are attainable on this evidence.

And so the curtain can finally be drawn on this incredible sporting summer of 2012.

It really shouldn't have been this good. After all, it started with a hosepipe ban, ended with the wettest summer on record and featured a double dip recession plus a penalty shoot out defeat.

But then came Wiggo and Weir, Jess, Mo and Greg, the rowers, the cyclists, the gamesmakers, Ellie Simmonds and lots of Clare Balding.

Yet we still weren't satisfied! How could this amazing season end with Coldplay's greatest hits?

Autumn, you've got a tough act to follow. Andy Murray has just capped the greatest summer.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Massive congratulations, Andy. I assume all those doubting Thomases of blogs past will now come on and congratulate him?

  • Comment number 2.

    Well done Andy. A superb victory to top off a truly wonderful summer for GB sport.

    How to follow this during autumn ? : by winning the Ryder Cup and by footballers behaving themselves !!!

    At least the former is attainable.

    :o)

  • Comment number 3.

    @1 - Doubtful! We should savour 2012 - UK sport is unlikely to have a year like this in any of our lifetimes.

  • Comment number 4.

    Fantastic stuff from Murray - hopefully the beeb will be able to show us some footage at some point?


    er.. September is autumn is it not?

  • Comment number 5.

    Well done Andy and Team GB for a great summer. Proud of ALL of you

  • Comment number 6.

    Well done Andy, a truly titanic performance. We're all proud of you

  • Comment number 7.

    He has done amazingly well. Now, he needs to take it on from here. He has always had the game, now he has the confidence and the trophies to prove it. Job number 1 is to do what the great players do and follow it up with a win in Melbourne in the new year.

    Well done Andy

  • Comment number 8.

    I mean, I got a conker this morning - nothing says Autumn like conkers.

  • Comment number 9.

    nooshmoo @4

    er.. September is autumn is it not?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Normally it is but this year is exceptional. Therefore, for one year only, summer will only end when we stop celebrating sporting achievements.

    Noosh i do hope you get to see it. The tension, the sportsmanship shown by both especially the end. Great viewing.

    He was exhausted........ I was exhausted watching it last night.

    Mark Petchey was probably right when he said 'the way he won it, was better than 3 straight sets'

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Jonathan - Have you picked up on the new that all Sky (pahhh) subscribers recording of the most memorable tennis final of all time all stopped in the final game of the final set.... unbelievable, no comment of course from Sky yet - rubbish

  • Comment number 11.

    Andy Murray - the toast of Scotland!

    We never doubted you. If at first you don't succeed, try try try again...

    Congratulations, you deserve it.

  • Comment number 12.

    @4. "er.. September is autumn is it not?"

    There's no strict definition of Autumn. From point of view of calendar it is normally taken to be the three months from Sept 21st (Autumnal equinox) to Dec 21st (Winter solstice), but meteorologically it is commonly taken to mean Sep/Oct/Nov.

  • Comment number 13.

    Forum>HD Boxes>Sky+ HD Recording & Playback>HD box cut off last game of US Open final

    and

    Forum>Watching Sky>Sky Programming & Channels>US Open - Sky ruins a great UK sporting moment...

    for more background.....

  • Comment number 14.

    Well Done Andy!! You have yourself and everyone proud!! For all the hardwork I am sure there are more to lift on your shoulders!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Huge congrats to you Andy. To be honest this has been on the cards since Wimbledon. He started off that match looking like a player ready to win which had been sorely missing in his previous finals and I honestly believe that had conditions stayed the same (the roof not going up) he would have won that game.

    The thing I'm most impressed with is his new found resisilience. He's had a tendacy in the past to crumble when things start to go wrong but I believe he's now found that thing the Federer, Novak and Rafa have in them to take their game to another level when needed.

    Now that he's bagged his first surely more can't be too far behind? I think he could bag the US again and most likely after that would be the Australian. Wimbledon is a very real prospect too as his grass game has improved so much over the last couple of years. He's also beaten two of the best at the moment on the biggest stages so the mental edge they had over him will be diminished.

    Will be interesting to see of Rafa can get back to his best as I'm sure there are some out there who will be quick to turn around and say his absence made Murray's run a little easier.

    Lastly I'd really like to see all of those that are quick to jump on his back when he's lost previously and say he will never win a Grand Slam come on here and finally admit that they were wrong...probably won't happen though.

  • Comment number 16.

    Excellant result. Just when poeple (myself included) were questioning if the ship had sailed, he finally pulls it off. Now can someone please sort out the state of British tennis in general, so we don't wait another 7 decades for the next grand slam victory??!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Just an awesome achievement, but the summer is not done yet ... Ryder Cup awaits, and the master finals for the the tennis

  • Comment number 18.

    Brilliant win. Andys been knocking on the door of the top three for a while but he's now just barged his way in. With Federer understandably dipping a tiny amount, Nadals injury and Djockovic finally looking human again after being anything but for the last couple of years, coupled with Murrays vastly improved fitness (both physical and mental) he now looks like he truly belongs in there company, and yes, he can definately win more.

    We always knew he could beat them - his record against Nole is a creditable 8-7 to the Serb. Djockovic had to play some truly awesom tennis to beat him in Australia. Ditto Federer at Wimbledon. You were almost beginning to wonder if Andy had that ability to push to the very limit in the biggest games, or if the absolute best of Federer/Nadal/Djockovic was better than the absolute best of Murray. But now we know, he's over that hurdle and knows he can beat the best in the biggest games of all, when they are playing to their limit. There's no reason from here why he can't go from serial semi-finalist to serial finalist and winner. Wish him all the very very best for the future.

  • Comment number 19.

    With Federer facing the inevitably unbeatable challenge of age, Nadal's knees deteriorating, and no wonderkid in the same league as the current Big 4... it looks like Djokovic v Murray might be a staple for finals to come!!

  • Comment number 20.

    He proved me wrong, I'd come to believe he'd never win a Slam.

    It's also worth thinking about the others in the top 4. Federer is 31 and in decline. Nadal is out injured again, has to ration his tournaments to spare his knees, and hasn't won a Slam outside Paris since 2010; he looks to be in decline too. Djokovic has lost the edge he displayed in 2011, slipped from those great heights. All are still formidable, of course, all still very good indeed - but you can make the case that of the top 4, only Murray is clearly on the up.

    That bodes well.

  • Comment number 21.

    Congratulations Andy. Great match, pleasure to watch. Also fair play to Djokovic, very gracious in defeat despite severe disappointment.

    Wonder what the story was with Andy looking for the watch afterwards? Sponsor thing? Also surprised he didn't head straight to his box a la Ivanisovic/Nadal/Cash when they won Wimbledon. Thought he would be more emotional but he's probably looking ahead to 2013 and beyond.

  • Comment number 22.

    15.At 11:22 11th Sep 2012, Tee-J wrote:

    Will be interesting to see of Rafa can get back to his best as I'm sure there are some out there who will be quick to turn around and say his absence made Murray's run a little easier.

    -----------------------------
    Probably some misery would raise that issue, but considering that the number 3 and 4 in the world would be on opposite sides of the draw to begin with, its pretty irrelevant. The only thing that arguably helped was Federer losing in the quarters, but then Berdych is no slouch either.

  • Comment number 23.

    What, no nibs, User name number 6 or whatever he calls himself? No Chavo? Well, you could knock me over with a feather. Normally they race to comment on a Muzza match. What could the difference be this time?

  • Comment number 24.

    @21; Definitely a sponsors thing. He always appears with his watch on for prizegivings. He did the box thing at Olympics, but he didn't even do a lap of the court last night to show off the trophy as normally the case. Think his legs were too far gone.

  • Comment number 25.

    When the inevitable trolls come out trying to diminish the achievement they should all look for the blog on here titled 'Murray's fairytale of New York' and read the paragraph about who Federer, Nadal and Djokovic beat when winning their first grand slam title and then ask themselves the question 'Who had the toughest match?'

  • Comment number 26.

    @moon "Just an awesome achievement, but the summer is not done yet ... Ryder Cup awaits, and the master finals for the the tennis"

    Blimey, you are pushing the boundaries for summer. The master finals for tennis is at the end of November!!

  • Comment number 27.

    A gripping final and a monumental performance from Murray. This is well-deserved (and a touch overdue) reward for his special talent and tremendous work ethic.

    With Federer solidly into his 30s, Nadal's knees, Djokovic tamed, and nobody new and frightening likely to emerge, Murray is extremely well-placed in the game now that this 'first slam' monkey is off his back. He'll win 5 of the next 12 and have a couple of decent stints at World number one.

  • Comment number 28.

    Reposting my earlier thoughts.

    I stayed up to watch this even if I flicked to and fro (watched The Charge of The Light Brigade during the first set) whenever I dispaired from the horrendous state of affairs. Of course I mean the court speed. I mean the prevailing (3 out of the current top 4 players in the world employ it) defensive glacier-speed tennis.

    In the middle of all this there were bright bits though. I had given a prediction that Murray would win in 5 and toward the end of the 2nd set I got worried we'd once again see his psyche crumble. Nothing of the sort, despite playing with his trademark negativity he managed to steer through the gusts and unsettle Djokovic with his retrieving.

    How much can we make of the tennis quality both showed though? Djokovic took more risks, tried to play flat and come to the net. Unfortunately for him his net skills are nothing like what they should be and his overheads? That deserves an entire thread of its own. The court speed and wind did not allow for either player to hit a significant number of really clean winners like we know they are capable of. This factor maybe favoured Andy as his powers of defending (pushing the ball back over the net) seem to have overtaken those of Djokovic. Meanwhile Murray didn't do anything unsusual, he played ultra-safe with the very sporradic attempt at finishing a ball at a point where he thought he had the definitive advantage in the rally (after the 19th shot let's say).

    Victory for Murray and the UK. A Phyrrhic one for tennis as this is the second Grand Slam final in 2012 that showcases absurd rallies possible only on absurd courts that almost negate shotmaking and promote stamina. And stamina, ladies and gents, means different things to different people and making stamina the holy grail of a tennis player's characteristics will lead to the death of the artistry in it.

    Once more, my heartfelt congratulations for the people who've stuck with Andy Murray.

  • Comment number 29.

    Well done your Andrew, a fine performance, especially after losing sets 3 and 4. Perhaps this will serve as a spur to Lee Westwood, Luke Donald et al. Keep working, keep knocking on the door, one day it will open.

  • Comment number 30.

    28: lol.

  • Comment number 31.

    Saga@27

    Definitely a future no 1 - good showing at the AO might clinch it.

    I have to say it felt strange having a final without Nadal or Federer in it but I was thoroughly engrossed after the 1st set tiebreaker.

    Let's hope we have a bit more variety in the slam finals and Murray takes his fair share now his confidence is up.

    Hope Rafa's back in the year - these 4 top guys are simply phenomenal

  • Comment number 32.

    I've always thought Murray would win a slam. In the early years he simply didn't have the stamina to win long matches. In the last couple of years it was his mental fragility that stopped him winning one of the big ones.

    At the Olympics he finally believed he could win a big tournament and he has carried this philosophy to the US Open. I believe he will become World Number 1 and win several slams in the next few years.

  • Comment number 33.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 34.

    22.
    At 12:12 11th Sep 2012, northernsuperspur wrote:

    Probably some misery would raise that issue, but considering that the number 3 and 4 in the world would be on opposite sides of the draw to begin with, its pretty irrelevant. The only thing that arguably helped was Federer losing in the quarters, but then Berdych is no slouch either.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Ah good point. To be honest though I'd have had Murray down to beat Federer anyway. Especially those blustery conditions Federer has shown that has struggles to cope and Murray handles it much better.

    Something else which I just saw in another article which makes Murray's achivment a little bit sweeter is the fact that when Djokovic took his debut major he did so against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; Roger Federer beat Mark Philippoussis, while Rafa Nadal only had to get past Mariano Puerta. With no disrecpect to those guys Djokovic is a much tougher prospect so Murray must feel like he fears no one now.

  • Comment number 35.

    28...so how's YOUR tennis, Russelljones? If it's not very good, have no fear; by your own statement, all you have to do is go out and do a bit of jogging, maybe a bit of cycling or swimming - you know, anything to help with the stamina - then pick up a raquet and hey presto! you're a tennis superstar. As long as you can "push the ball back over the net", I predict big things for you. Good luck, my friend, good luck - I'm sure we're all behind you.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 35 I am not discussing tennis as a recreational activity. If anything in my comment left you with the impression that I am criticizing a fellow club player you need to brush up on your reading skills.

  • Comment number 37.

    Murays talent was never in doubt but talent is not enough. The game is mental and this is where the true greats prosper, they play the big points better. Murray was not consistent in that area and he needed the losses to realise this. Some greats are naturally mentally like steel, Djocko for once, but others are not and they need the right of passage to learn that, winning is a skill, like any other. The introduction of Lendl is without doubt the key to Murray's success however Murray still needed to 'suffer' for his art in order to believe, that his is character. If Lendl had been introduced 1/2 years ago I am not sure it would have sped things up. There is an old saying 'when the student is ready the teacher appears' ... never a truer saying in my view.

  • Comment number 38.

    He didn't deserve it.


    .

  • Comment number 39.

    Firstly, you have to take your hat off to Murray. What an epic conclusion to a great 2 weeks in New York. He wasn't at his best for the entire tournament, but when he needed to step up, he did. Although the final will be the match everyone remembers - it has to be said, that at the back end of the 3rd set against Lopez, Britain held its breath. But he found a way through it, and kept on going. Something all great champions do!

    As for the future... Future world number 1 is going to be really tough, because you have to consistently get to finals/win slams. And with Nadal coming back, it's certainly going to be a challenge. But he's proved he can do it on the biggest stage of all, so why not in Melbourne next year? Roland Garros will always be his 'bogey' slam, but he'll always do well on grass/hard courts.

    Federer will want to show that he's still got it at the very top, Nadal will want to make a statement that he's still around and Djokovic will no doubt play for revenge and to reclaim his number 1 status.

    All adds up to one thing - Amazing tennis for the foreseeable future!

  • Comment number 40.

    38: lol. Nearly a full set now!

  • Comment number 41.

    coats 31

    Not surprising it felt strange having neither Roger nor Rafa around at the business end of a slam. You have to roll the sepia-tinted film of RG 2004 (I think) to see the last FedNadless pair of semis.

    Yes, I want Nadal back too. Love watching him play.

    Re more variety of shot, I agree it would be good for the game. Fed is in a league of his own on that score, of course, but I think we'll see plenty from Murray as his confidence grows. I've always judged him superior to both Nadal and Djokovic as regards artistry and flair - imagination and racquet skills, I mean, essentially - and if he were to add a forecourt game to his arsenal, plus keep improving his serve, then we're going to be looking at a potent substance & style combination.

    Very enjoyable anyway, this US Open. Really liked the women's event too. Azarenka has a very watchable funky-punky aura about her and Serena Williams is slowly but surely becoming quite iconic.

  • Comment number 42.

    @38 nibs

    That has to be one of the most ridiculous statements i've read in a long time. Why?

  • Comment number 43.

    I was one who thought Murray was in a league of one some way behind the other three particularly when Djokovic who was at Murray's level proceeded to leave him behind and join the other two so full credit to the man for now joining the others. He has worked on his weaknesses e.g.stamina aids mental toughness and has been rewarded.

    I bet our footballers are really loving their fellow sportsmen at the moment, Tour De France, Olympics (both), golf, tennis............................ The Summer of 2012 truly inspiring (that is once we Euro 2012 out of the way). Have just read a piece where the England football manager is bemoaning the lack of opportunities his starlets are getting in the Premier League....................... Message to Manager and Starlets............... look at just shows what can be done when talent is combined with the right mindset.......... well done Mr Murray.

  • Comment number 44.

    I would like to concur with the First Minister of Scotland in stating that Andy Murray is a Scottish legend. Secondly, there was once a Monty Python sketch dating from their first series in 1969 when Michael Palin played the role of Angus Podgorny, a Scottish no-hoper of a tennis player who loses at Wimbledon to a very large blancmange. Back then it seemed preposterous that a Scotsman could win a tennis grand slam event, almost as preposterous as Arse-nil winning the Champions League or Tottensham or Liverpoo winning the Premiership. Oh and the silly people who expect liad-back Andy to behave like a drama queen when he wins are all talking a load of tennis balls.

  • Comment number 45.

    Falling asleep at my desk thanks to Andy...not his hugest fan (don't dislike him) but blimey what a game of tennis...thoroughly deserved victory! Think he'll win the Australian...probably never the French but that's fair enough and Wimbledon....depends which Federer turns up...he's already shown he CAN beat him on grass!

  • Comment number 46.

    All adds up to one thing - Amazing tennis for the foreseeable future!

    ----

    Could not agree more...we are definitely in another golden era of tennis! hopefully more Brits (Scot's for those anti English lot) will be inspired to give it a go!

  • Comment number 47.

    What a fantastic achievement by Andy Murray and his team. 76 years since the last british player won a tennis grand slam and there are still people moaning about his personality, looking at his watch, etc, etc. They really should get a life. This is Andy's career and he has just reached the pinnacle...let's praise him for it

  • Comment number 48.

    baggiosponytail @42

    That has to be one of the most ridiculous statements i've read in a long time. Why?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That's not like you. You never respond to idiots who post especially like the post @38.

    Do you know i watched that last night and was absolutely shattered by the end, no not as much as Andy. Great sportsmanship on show and a great advert for the game. Great for Scotland, great for Britain.

    I think john '43 has it spot on.....Andy showed with talent, sheer hard work and belief .............it can happen.

  • Comment number 49.

    42.At 14:18 11th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:

    "Why?"


    1. He won six out of six (100%) of his tiebreaks which is quite rare; he also won 2 sets from set point down. He got the rub of the green, ALL close calls & even sets in the tournament, many of which were decisive including set 1 of the final, went his way.

    2. He deserved to go out in R3, Lopez was the better player on the day.

    3. The conditions on his two toughest matches suited his style of play.

    4. His final opponent had played 2+ hours the day before so it was not a fair contest; in all likelihood this was the reason he won the final set (not any supposed physical or mental superiority although he did great in these aspects to bounce back)

    5. Five points out of 315 isn't enough difference in performance to make you the better player and merit the win, it's basically a tie.



    .

  • Comment number 50.

    The golden age of tennis will soon be coming to an end as Federer leaves the stage and Nadal will surely have to cut back the amount he plays but these two put on a damned good show last night.

    Azarenka looked good and it was nice to see Serena make the headlines for all the right reasons.

    I do believe if Serena had had fewer diversions from her tennis she would have broken all the records and she rarely gets the credit she deserves because of her exploits. She is an amazing athlete.

  • Comment number 51.

    49: It's a shame you dislike Brits so much as it means you have to be bitter on so many sports forums! Quite funny though!

  • Comment number 52.

    Intersting to see how many people are equating Federer's age with a decline. Of course he cannot go on forever but his so-called decline this year has coincided with him re-claiming the number 1 spot in the rankings.

    I'm sure Murray will be more than happy to go into a similar decline now that he's finally cracked how to win one of the Major titles:-))

  • Comment number 53.

    #49. Let me deal with those in order:

    1) Six out of six tie-breaks? That could easily be described as a clutch player who brought his best tennis out in the tightest situations. And anyway only one of those breakers was played last night, and he earned SIX set points in it - it was all Andy.

    2) He didn't deserve to go out in R3 to Lopez, and the way I know this is that he won. Tennis is one of those sports (at best of 5 level, anyway) where you really can't fluke a result.

    3) I'm sorry but the conditions on Saturday suited nobody's game. Do you think he'd have rather played in that or a calmer day? You make the best of the circumstances you're in. You make it sound like a negative that he found a way to win, when really it shows the ability he has to work his way through tough conditions.

    4) Swings and roundabouts. What happened to Murray in '08? I suppose Federer got lucky with that one too. And if Novak's SF had been moved to Armstrong on Saturday, are we even convinced he'd have won? Ferrer was loving the conditions that day.

    5) It isn't a statistical tie, and the way I know this is that Andy won more points - and more importantly - more sets. Of course it was a tight match. It was only a few points that separated them both in Australia this year too. Maybe we should begrudge Djokovic his victory then as well.

  • Comment number 54.

    49.
    At 15:10 11th Sep 2012, nibs wrote:

    42.At 14:18 11th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:

    "Why?"


    1. He won six out of six (100%) of his tiebreaks which is quite rare; he also won 2 sets from set point down. He got the rub of the green, ALL close calls & even sets in the tournament, many of which were decisive including set 1 of the final, went his way.

    2. He deserved to go out in R3, Lopez was the better player on the day.

    3. The conditions on his two toughest matches suited his style of play.

    4. His final opponent had played 2+ hours the day before so it was not a fair contest; in all likelihood this was the reason he won the final set (not any supposed physical or mental superiority although he did great in these aspects to bounce back)

    5. Five points out of 315 isn't enough difference in performance to make you the better player and merit the win, it's basically a tie.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry Nibs, but you're talking Compplete and utter rubbish.

    1. Winning 6 out of 6 tie breaks in a tournament may be rare but shows great mental fortitude. the other players across the net didn't have it, including Djokovic and Lopez

    2. If lopez was the better player, why didn't he win? He wasn't good enough on the day, and has lost every time he's played Andy Murray

    3. So when Federer beat Murray in 2008 after Murray had to play the day before against Nadal, were you going Poor andy, that's not fair, or were you gloating that Federer beat him? The Djokovic match against Ferrer was nothing more than a training session the way Ferrer self destructed. Djokovic got lucky that the hurricane turned up and stopped his match as he was on his way out, he couldn't cope with the same wind that Murray mastered to beat Berdych.

    4. As for 5 points difference, so what, listen to Ivan lendlThe only point you need to win is the last one! I bet you were rooting for Djokovic once he made it 2 sets all, expecting Murray to wilt. But it wasn't to be, Murray raised his game, mentally better than Djokovic and is now US Open Champion, Grand slam champion. That's all the history books remember. choke on it!

    2. Rub of the green, so when

  • Comment number 55.

    49. If Lopez was the better player, why did he not win?

    Also you say that the conditions better suited Murray. Is that based on him being Scottish. I don't think this stands up as he developed his game abroad. The conditions are the conditions. If he is able to adapt his game to suit surely he is the better all round player.

  • Comment number 56.

    Tom I'm surprised you even dignified #49's five ludicrous arguements with a response. That's quite possibly the daftest post I've ever seen on the BBC forums (which is saying a lot).

  • Comment number 57.

    I've spent all summer moaning that I've been away from the UK missing the Olympics but finally last night and I'm in New York while Andy makes history. Amazing atmosphere and congratulations! What a summer!

  • Comment number 58.

    A lot will be written about Andy Murray in the weeks to come and last nights victory will last long in the memory. In the years to come he will held up as a role model to all young aspiring tennis players. It will be said that if you can overcome your own self doubt as Andy did last night then anything is possible. What he achieved yesterday was in the words of one Mr David.Coleman "Remarkable".

  • Comment number 59.

    49. At 15:10 11th Sep 2012, nibs wrote:

    ---

    Fine, I'll bite.

    1. Jesus, how on earth can you criticise him for winning the crucial points in key matches? It was what set Djokovic, Fed and Nadal apart prior to the tournament. Also, if he's good enough to win tie-breaks, then why on earth should he be critised.

    2. No he didn't. He won. Therefore he deserved to win the match. You can't say if a player happens to play well, you should award them the win. By that logic, you should have handed Murray the 2010 AO or even Wimbledon 2012.

    3. No, he adapted well to the conditions. Berdych and Djokovic didn't. Why not just play indoor matches all the time, if you don't want players to adapt to the conditions.

    4. Doesn't make a difference. Djokovic played a mammoth SF match v Andy at the AO this year, whilst Nadal won comfortably and Djokovic still went on to win the final in a match not unsimilar to the one played last night.

    5. Err... No, because that's not how tennis works. Tennis isn't about who wins more points. I don't understand why you comment on tennis when you clearly don't realise how you win matches?

    So, perhaps you're being a WUM for attention?

  • Comment number 60.

    @48 Londoner

    I couldn't resist asking why. I knew the rationale would be as ridiculous as the original statement and would be picked apart by others. I'll revert to my normal stance now.

  • Comment number 61.

    nibs @38 & 49

    He didn't deserve it.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am goint to keep this simple, in that way you may understand.

    At the start of a tournament, a player has to win X number of matches to win the title.

    How he wins those matches is irrelevant, they could be 3 or 5 set matches or x number of games, points, whatever.

    If play is disrupted and it means the player faces an altered timetable, the player has to overcome that. Novak had three sets to win, if he had the necessary quality on the night he would of won in three. Because that is when he was at his physical peak during the match.

    If you don't like Andy Murray for any reason other than this match, then fair enough, you are entitled to an opinion.

    But to post something as stupid as you have, I would suggest less bitterness woud be a wonderful thing for your life.

    Rub of the green suggests you believe in luck.

    Luck applies to lottery winners, it does not apply to anything where calculated decisions are made. If a volley is out, it is because it is a bad volley, the wrong volley. If it is in, then it is a good shot. Luck has nothing to do with it.

  • Comment number 62.

    28:Russel Jones. What more would you have like to see then? I've played and watched tennis for 40+ years and that match was an epic.

    42: Nibs. You don't have draws in tennis, and your comments show you know sweet f.a. about the game of tennis.

    Why the negativity? Why the sniping? Murray won a Grand Slam - enjoy it if you can but I doubt that's in your psyche.

  • Comment number 63.

    Andy made history yesterday, and he thoroughly deserved the win. That is now a huge monkey off his back, and his doubters will never think of asking will he ever win a grand slam again? To be honest, the tough conditions meant that the match wasn't pretty, but this was just all about heart and determination; which player wanted it more, and in this case it was Murray. I for one thought that Djokovic would cruise through in the final set, after gaining huge momentum by winning the 3rd and 4th sets very easily, but I was wrong. I couldn't believe that Murray emerged the fitter of the two, and that is huge against who I consider the best athlete right now. It was incredible and as someone posted earlier, to win your first grand slam by beating Djokovic who is undoubtedly the best outdoor hard court player for the past two years is again insane. I believe this should open the door for Murray to win more slams, and I think he will. I always questioned if it all he would ever win one in this era, but now he is truly part of the era of the BIG 4, and it is official that anyone of them can beat each other on the biggest of stages. I still feel though he could come to the net a bit more, but hey that is something he can work on. It will be very interesting to see what will happen next year as I put Djokovic and Murray as favorites to win in Australia. I'm certain Nadal will come back stronger next year, and we'll know later this year where Fed's game is at, as losing to Berdych was certainly very disappointing. So, a great summer for Murray and congrats to Great Britain and him.

    For the women, I said it before that Azarenka can push Serena, and she pushed her right till the end. It was a great final, with many ebbs and flows, and Serena once again showed the champion's metal she possesses. These two are the #1 and #2 players in my opinion, and I really believe Azarenka will win many more grand slams in the future. I thought she would get blown away by Serena, but how wrong was I? She was a bit tentative in the first set, but she stepped it up and took advantage of Serena's dip in her form in the second. It is simple: if Serena's first serve doesn't fall, Azarenka can stay with her from the baseline more often than not, and I think in the second set, Serena's first serve percentage was hovering in the low 40s so there you go. Without her serve she is pretty ordinary, and I still don't think she is as consistent from the back. So Azarenka will get her chances again.

    A historical US Open, culminating with two great finals. Bring on the slams for next year!!

  • Comment number 64.

    @Tom #53

    "Six out of six tie-breaks? That could easily be described as a clutch player who brought his best tennis out in the tightest situations"

    Yes it could. Or as a player who lets his level drop and gets into dangerous situations. Or as a lucky player who just happens to win decisive points more than others.


    "only one of those breakers was played last night, and he earned SIX set points in it - it was all Andy"

    Agreed it was all Andy as to who was on the verge of winning the tiebreak. It was certainly not all Andy in the set which was even (actually Andy was serving to save it). In fact it was not all Andy in the breaker either else it wouldn't have gone to 12-10, there was nothing in it.


    "He didn't deserve to go out in R3 to Lopez, and the way I know this is that he won. Tennis is one of those sports (at best of 5 level, anyway) where you really can't fluke a result"

    You have only said that he won, not that he deserved to win. In tennis you can't fluke a result like in football "normally", but in 1-2% of matches you can because of the splitting into games/sets and this was one of them.


    "I'm sorry but the conditions on Saturday suited nobody's game"

    I refer you to all the comments beforehand as to whom they would suit and why.


    "Swings and roundabouts."

    Maybe not so sure but I talked about this tournament & match not others, and 3 sets 24 hours before against someone like Ferrer is huge in anyone's book and it proved to be in set 5.


    "It isn't a statistical tie, and the way I know this is that Andy won more points - and more importantly - more sets"

    I don't find 1.5% difference between two players as notable superiority deserving of a win, it's virtually even (another way of saying noone deserved to lose)


    "It was only a few points that separated them both in Australia this year too. Maybe we should begrudge Djokovic his victory then as well"

    Not really, in Australia the gap was 23 points (with Murray winning another breaker) last night just 5.


    .

  • Comment number 65.

    'He deserved to go out in R3, Lopez was the better player on the day.' @ 49

    **

    No, don't be fooled, Murray was never in danger against Lopez, he was basically toying with a vastly inferior player.

    Not in a bad way, I don't mean, nothing disrespectful or anything, just kind of trying a few things out in a safe environment.

    Guess we've all done it, right?

  • Comment number 66.

    @64 nibs

    You have just made the point for everyone with this comment:

    "another way of saying noone deserved to lose"

    The key difference between the above statement and your original ("He didn't deserve it") is that the first post is negative and the second is positive.

    To say that both players gave their all and noone deserved to lose is a positive refelection on the match last night. To say someone doesn't deserve something they have achieved is a negative look at their success. The facts and stats of the match remain it is your negative perception of them that seems to annoy others. Rather than accept that both players were magnificent, that it came down to fine margins to decide a victor, you try to reduce the quality of the result by claiming others were below par or he got lucky.

    The match was decided on key points in the match. At points Andy had the nerve to take those chances as they were presented to him and on other occassions it was Nole. The difference between a nearly-man and a champion is the ability to win more of those key points. Murray has never done it in the Grand Slams before whereas the other 3 members of the BIG 4 have. Last night Murray did it and proved he has that ability.

    You obviously don't like the man and can't even bring yourself to admit you are wrong.

    As a Scot I am proud of his achievements and hope this will create a surge in tennis participation across the UK. I just wish the narrow minded nationalists (just look at Sean Connery's cringeworthy comment) would accept that even though they don't want to consider themselves British, Andy does. He is proud to represent himself, his family and friends and his country. You CAN be both Scottish and British simultaneously and not need to pick one over the other - it's really quite easy.

  • Comment number 67.

    Nibs, you're just clutching for any straw you can find.

    Murray is the champion because he was the better player when it mattered most, the final set. 6-2 in his favour bears that out. djokovic has already said he gave it is all, but he wasn't good enough. I'd take his opinion , you know that of a 5 time Grand slam and defending US Open champion over yours any day of the week and twice on a sunday.

    Why people have a personal dislike of Murray I do not know. Murray lives a quiet life with his girldfriend and dogs, basically doesn't drink (last night being an exception) and works his backside off to be the best tennis player he can. I'd take him over all the z list celebs and over paid prima donna footballers anyday.

  • Comment number 68.

    @62 "What more would you have like to see then? I've played and watched tennis for 40+ years and that match was an epic. "
    I think my comment alludes to what I would like to see. Higher quality shotmaking and less 'pushing'. The TV channels' insistence on slowing down surfaces (this was the slowest Arthur Ashe in my memory, maybe you remember it slower but I doubt it) and the ridiculous pauses between points can make tennis a bit of a drag. Perfect example of the surface favouring a player is the Murray - Berdych match. An incredible athlete like Murray wouldn't dream about getting into a 15 shot rally with Berdych if the USO surface had retained its speed from 5-6 years ago.

    I want to see more winners and less cross-court pushing. If you want to get into the finer details (being a veteran observer and player) go ahead and ask me specifics.

  • Comment number 69.

    @49

    1) Murray won 100% of tie breaks. Good for him. That's called "playing the big points well", not luck.

    2) I disagree.

    3) So? Adapting is part of the game. In the Wimbledon Final they closed the roof and that suited Federer: does that mean he didn't deserve that and Murray should have won?

    4) Again, so? It happens. In the US final of 2008 Murray had played a titanic semi the day before vs Nadal, so does that mean Federer's victory wasn't deserved? Of course not. These things happen.

    5) See answer 1).

    Also, point 6), you're a teeny bit biased, y'know.

  • Comment number 70.

    'Why people have a personal dislike of Murray I do not know.' @ 67

    **

    I do: Scotaphobia.

    A nasty little complaint to be sure, and often difficult to treat, but in no way life-threatening.

  • Comment number 71.

    Brilliant performance. What character. Undoubtedly more to come and there needs to be; because that great leveller the wind undoubtedly hurt Djokovic more than Murray. In better conditions Murray would not have been able to stay in as many rallies as he did. He needs to be even more aggressive and move further up the court to win more majors. With his new found confidence, and clearly the right team in place, he has every reason to do so.

  • Comment number 72.

    I do: Scotaphobia.

    A nasty little complaint to be sure, and often difficult to treat, but in no way life-threatening.

    ---

    If that really is true then that is absolutely pathetic. Why anyone should be hated and have their achievements downplayed ("He didn't deserve it" etc) because of their nationality is beyond my comprehension. And I'm English by the way.

    Well done to Murray and for his fans, like myself who are celebrating today, don't let idiots like Nibs ruin your day.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ Londoner in exile returns #61

    "At the start of a tournament, a player has to win X number of matches to win the title. How he wins those matches is irrelevant, they could be 3 or 5 set matches or x number of games, points, whatever."

    I said "deserve". The above show that he "won" these matches and trophy (which is a fact noone denies).


    "If play is disrupted and it means the player faces an altered timetable, the player has to overcome that. Novak had three sets to win, if he had the necessary quality on the night he would of won in three. Because that is when he was at his physical peak during the match"

    This has nothing to do with Djokovic's or Murray's performance in the semis (I would even argue the former's was the better one). Djokovic's match was scheduled for the evening and the storm came at that time forcing him to play the day before the final while Murray had a rest. This is all about force majeure and LUCK of the weather & scheduling.


    "Luck applies to lottery winners, it does not apply to anything where calculated decisions are made. If a volley is out, it is because it is a bad volley, the wrong volley. If it is in, then it is a good shot. Luck has nothing to do with it."

    A volley that goes out by an inch is better than one that misses by a metre. The first is more "unlucky" and "deserving" than the second one. The result doesn't factor this in, they are both zero. A hold from deuce is more "lucky" and a worse performance than a convincing one to love. Same with a 6-3 set compared to a 7-6. In tennis the winner is usually the right one regardless of the above but not always.

    Another thing, a player statistically wins say 50% of his tiebreaks, maybe 65% or more if he is very good as he will naturally play better than the opponent. The same applies to Murray (or Djokovic) for whom there is a good sample from say this year. In the US Murray won 100% of his tiebreaks which is far from his own average. If you toss a coin and you get 3 out of 4 heads this is the rub of the green, the same Murray with the same performance nerve & mental capacity most likely won't win 6 consecutive tiebreaks any time soon.


    .

  • Comment number 74.

    the coverage in the media for ths is very very justifiable and well deserved for a great guy, however Ii feel sorry for young Rory McIlroy, he won hs second major, by A RECORD MARGN AND AT A YOUNGER AGE THAN ANYONE ELSE AD WAS SWALLOWED UP BY THE CLOSiNG CEREMONEY FOR THE OLYMPiCS. HIS ACHEIVEMNT IS EQually AS GREAT AS MURRAYS IF NOT BETTER.

  • Comment number 75.

    A volley that goes out is out, be it an inch or a metre, so you're point is irrelevant. It doesn't come under deserving or undeserving, in comes under in or out. Murray over the match had more points in than out compared to Djokovic. Murray won, you looking for any excuse to denigrate Murrays achievent is just pathetic sour grapes. He is now a Grand Slam winner. You Can do nothing to change it, show him the respect he deserves for all the hard work and pain he's gone though to achieve this feat.

  • Comment number 76.

    To quote the great Gary Player

    "The more I practise the luckier I get!"

  • Comment number 77.

    As an Irishman, I am delighted for Great Britain and the wonderful summer of sporting success that you have had. Interesting to note how quiet the Aussies have been over the past few months...It will be interesting to see who now winds the BBS Sports Personality of the Year, Wiggins, Murray or one of many other Olympic Gold Medal Winners? Perhaps this is a year where the BBC may want to consider a joint winner if there are a couple of nominees who win an inordinate amount of votes.

  • Comment number 78.

    Nibs

    How can you claim that Murray did not deserve to win yet lopez did...based on what criteria?

    I am not disagreeing that you may be correct but you need to have some point of reference to base this statement on, otherwise you just sound ridiculous.

    How is any player more deserving than anyone else?

    I would also take issue that a shot out by one inch is more unlucky than one that is out by a metre. I would argue that former is less of a bad shot not a more unlucky one.

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 74

    A good point: I rate Murray's achievement that little bit higher, still in just about any other year what Rory has done (which is immense) would have him as a strong candidate for BBC SPOTY, say, but this year (what with the Olympics and Paralympics and now Murray adding this to his Wimbledon final & gold medal double) he has zero chance of even top 3.

  • Comment number 80.

    Well done to Andy Murray. It was winning the 2nd set that was crucial to the victory. If he'd lost that, I think Djokovich would have won the match, but the 2 sets in front pushed the match to 5 sets and Andy is the fittest player on the circuit, so was better placed to close it out. With Federer ageing and Nadal with injury problems, we could see a lot more Grand Slams from Murray now.

  • Comment number 81.

    Had to stop by to check if any naysayers were prepared to diminish Murray's achievement and performance. Precious few dared, but there's always one.

    Nibs, you're a pedantic fool, and any reactive moderating of that comment would be over-reactive. Clearly you're one of those people who would rather pick, peck and poke than have the decency and humility to accept that they might actually be wrong. More fool you.

    But let's see if you can keep this going as long as I can:

    'It's basically a tie':

    Yep, pretty sure that's what the trophy says - you know, 2010 Champion Rafael Nadal, 2011 Champion Novak Djokovic, 2012 Champions Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

    'He didn't deserve it'

    May as well let the dictionary handle this one. Deserve: to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation. Because of his actions (you know, winning three sets in a best-of-five match) and his qualities (being an exceptional tennis player) in that situation (Grand Slam final) he now has claim to (read 'owns') the U.S. Open trophy, which he qualified for by beating Nole and merited by being better than him the only time it mattered - the final point. Your original statement was erroneous and defenseless.

    'This is all about force majeure and LUCK of the weather & scheduling.'

    You're right - it is about force majeure. Because it translates to 'superior force'. Feel free to spin that one around and try and take this conversation away on some pointless tangent because you're getting owned on these boards. Murray, as was the case at Wimbledon, was arguably far less lucky with the scheduling than Djokovic because he had to face superior opposition most of the time (and before you say Del Potro this and Ferrer that, go do your little fact/stat checking and tell me the last time Ferrer made as many unforced errors in two hours as was the case on Saturday). The weather's the same for everybody, some players handle it better than others. Those are the guys that DESERVE to win. You know, the better ones.

    'A volley that goes out by an inch is better than one that misses by a metre'.

    It's not. Out is out. You seem to be of the opinion that points totals matter. They don't. And seeing as how you're obviously an avid tennis watcher (ahem), no doubt you will have seen players let sets go many times because they were not as important as the next one. Murray didn't have to win the fourth set. He had to win the fifth. Which he did.

    I can do this all day, all week, all year - and I gladly will. I look forward to your pointless response and future inane ramblings when Murray bags more slams. I know, I know, next time he wins one it will be because Nadal stubbed his toe and Novak had bad seafood and a butterfly beat it's wings rah rah rah.

    Andy Murray: Grand Slam champion. Get out of that one.

  • Comment number 82.

    Good on you Andy Murray. A reward for your perseverance and determination allied to undoubted ability.

    Murray’s progress in the last year has been evident in the improvement to his 1st / 2nd serve and forehand as well as more aggressive intent and stronger mental fortitude. The question was whether it was going to be sufficient to take him to the success he craved in the slams. We know the answer now.

    What intrigues me, is how could Ivan Lendl have had such an immediate and marked effect? This was a guy who made himself a great player but walked away from the game when injury forced him to retire. His own “comeback” is surely as much a part of the story as anything else.

    It will be interesting to see how the partnership develops.

    Lendl has said that Murray’s semi final loss at this year’s Australian Open reinforced the belief that he could compete on the same level with the very best players in the world.

    I was not convinced. Whilst Murray continued to impress in the tour events there just seemed to be something missing when it came to the bigger tournaments.

    There were signs at Wimbledon that a corner may have been turned but it was at the Olympics that Murray’s advance was brought home emphatically.

    Much as Djokovic credited his Davis Cup success in 2010 as the springboard for the individual honours that followed, I believe Murray’s gold medal instilled genuine belief and confidence in him that he carried over into the US Open.

    A worthy champion.

  • Comment number 83.

    I don't think I have been on the tennis blog before, but was intrigued by this nibs character.

    The thing you need to realise is this: He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody

    Those aren't my words; it's what Novac Djokovic said after the match.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    I have to disagree with the popular view that Murray has suddenly acquired resilience. There were good signs of it a few years ago when he beat Gasquet in five sets at Wimbledon. I do think he froze in Grand Slam finals,but has now got over that. I've always thought he was great to watch, and he seems a great sportsman too,always gracious about his opponents and willing to give them credit.
    As for Nibs ,he's having a larf,innit?

  • Comment number 86.

    Now we have Mats Wilander and Pat Cash telling us Murray will go on to dominate the men's game. Based on what? The fact that both work as pundits and need to generate interest for their respective opinions.

    Federer is fading away. It's sad but inevitable. At 31 with his children requiring more and more interaction I just don't see him maintaining that same hunger. This year might see him make a final push to end as #1 and take that one last remaining 'mega record' he currently ties with Pete. The state of court surfaces at the majours is such that he can't outhit people who have no intention of going into a shootout with him. The 3 pushers at the top just have to wait for him to tire and make a mistake (in his attempt at finishing the unfinishable i.e. make a winner on a surface akin to wet cardboard).

    Djokovic is still the man to beat in all but 1 majour tennis events of the calendar. He is physically the strongest and mentally too, with Nadal probably his only rival in that area. His vulnerability in the overhead area and net play is usually well masked by the baseline dominance he displays. One Slam Final, that could easily have gone either way, in no way tips the scales against this guy. He is young and healthy and I see no reason (other than a sudden loss of interest) why he would let Murray climb over him.

    Nadal, what can you say about this great champion? Anyone who's ever bet against him has lost. He proved it this year when he overturned his negative streak vs Djokovic (undisputed world #1 at the time) in a resounding fashion. He virtually owns the entire clay court circuit. Not even Roger Federer can lay claim to such dominance (even if his indoor streak is quite impressive as well). Nadal has been playing tennis 8 hours a day since he was a very young child so it's normal that his pains started so early. This latest break is less worrisome than the 2009 one (which was due to tendinitis) because his doctor assures us it isn't the tendinitis. I wouldn't be surprised 1 bit if he came back to win 2 majours in 2013.

    Yet Pat and Mats tell us Murray is going to 'dominate' the men's game. The same guys who wrote Federer off in 2011 with Pat going further by saying 'Djokovic is better than Federer was at his best'. Either way it seems tennis is not very popular. I am sure if it wasn't for Andy it would be relegated to the 'Other sports' tab the way Boxing was.

  • Comment number 87.

    @86

    What the hell is a "majour"?

 

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