Andy Murray has vowed to enjoy winning his second Wimbledon title, claiming that doing so via a straight-sets win against Milos Raonic on Centre Court on Sunday had left him feeling “happier” and “more content” than when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final here three years ago.
Murray delivered a supreme display against Raonic, overcoming the Canadian No6 seed 6-4, 7-6, 7-6. The world No2 served brilliantly and returned even more so, in the process all but neutering Raonic’s own serve, recognised as being his most potent weapon.
Victory was sealed in two hours and 48 minutes and afterwards Murray spoke about how this triumph compared to that of 2013, when he defeated Djokovic, also in straight sets, to become the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon, having won his first grand slam title at the previous year’s US Open.
“It is different,” he said. “I feel happier this time. I feel more content. I feel like this was more for myself, and my team. 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. I want to spend time with my family and closest friends, the people I work with. That’s who I want to be around right now. I’ll make sure I spend a lot of time with them over the next couple of days.”
Murray, 29, was always in control against Raonic, who was competing in his first grand slam final having beaten Roger Federer in their five-set semi-final on Friday, winning 87% of his points on his first serve compared to 67% by Raonic. The 25-year-old also managed to deliver just eight aces, compared to an average of 22.8 in his previous six matches at this tournament. And it was telling that while Raonic delivered the joint-second fastest serve in Wimbledon history on Sunday, coming in at 147mph, Murray not only returned it but also went on to win the point.
“I practise my returns a lot, it doesn’t just happen by chance,” said Murray, who takes home £2m in prize money and has now competed in 11 grand slam finals, equalling the tallies of Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander. “I also think that every time I got into the rallies I was hitting the ball clean from the back of the court. As soon as I was in control of the rallies, there wasn’t many where I gave up control.”
Murray’s victory on Sunday not only maintained his fine form this calender year, during which he has reached the final at the Australian Open and Roland Garros – losing on both occasions against Djokovic – and won two titles, the Rome Masters and Queen’s Club, it also saw him once again successfully carry the hopes of a nation. The Centre Court crowd were in typically partizan and fervent mood and, to put in context the level of support and expectation on Murray, among the spectators there was a man who had put himself on morphine having been in hospital for more than a month with a crushed pelvis, just so he could see the Scot in action.
“Hopefully he’s OK and gets back on the morphine,” Murray said. “Obviously that’s amazing and hearing those stories makes me feel happy and proud. They’re all the things I’m trying not to hear during the tournament because there is a lot of pressure and stress. But the support that I had throughout the two weeks, especially today was amazing. It really helps.”
Ivan Lendl, who coached Murray to his previous two slam titles, could be seen weeping soon after the Scot secured victory here. “He’s a leader and I trust in what he says because of the results we had the last time we worked together,” the champion said of the Czech-born American. “I play my best tennis under him.”
“I still feel like my best tennis is ahead of me, that I have an opportunity to win more [grand slams]. Everyone’s time comes at different stage. Some come in their early twenties, some mid twenties. Hopefully mine is still to come.”
Murray’s focus now switches to helping Great Britain to defend their Davis Cup title, with the team facing Serbia in a quarter-final tie in Belgrade this week. The Scot hinted he may not be physically ready for that contest and will speak to Leon Smith, the team captain, about taking part on Monday. “I’m OK now but when I wake up tomorrow morning it may be a bit different,” he said.
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