Another hoodoo up in smoke as Andy Murray wins US Open

Sep 11, 2012

Commentators have been cheering the first British Grand Slam victor in 76 years

ANDY MURRAY has become the first male British tennis player in 76 years to win a Grand Slam title. Nobody can be more relieved this morning than Murray himself. The Scot's victory over world no. 2 Novak Djokovic at the US Open last night brings to an end his run of four fruitless Grand Slam finals.

Asked about finally ending Britain's long wait for a male Grand Slam champion, Murray said: "I've been reminded of that most days of my life for the last few years. It's great to have finally done it and I don't need to get asked that anymore."

The Times's Simon Barnes traces the moment Murray turned from serial choker to tennis "big boy": it was his victory in the Olympics on the courts of Wimbledon. On the way to a gold medal, he beat Djokovic in the semis and Federer in the final.

"After that heady tournament victory in the headiest of British summers, Murray sees himself as a winner by right," says Barnes. "This fractional change of attitude was the difference between winning and losing last night."

The match was a five-hour, five-set masterpiece writes Oliver Brown in The Daily Telegraph. Murray went into a two-set lead before being pulled back to parity by Djokovic.  "First the fans were treated to Murray's Herculean performance, then to Djokovic's Houdini-like response," says Brown.

"We wondered if they would still be playing when the sun came up the next morning. One for the ages, truly."

It's not just the British commentators who think Murray has now arrived in the tennis big league. Christopher Clarey writes in The New York Times: "The Big Three is finally and undeniably the Big Four. After years of chasing the lead group of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray joined their golden-age club in earnest".

Like many observers, Clarey puts Murray's success down to his coach Ivan Lendl, who also suffered a series of Grand Slam final defeats before finally winning a title.

Nine months after the pair joined forces "they are linked on the pages, Web or otherwise, of the history books as champions who stopped their Grand Slam losing streaks on the fifth attempt".

So what next for Murray the US Open champion? "Easy New York cliché would tell us that if Murray can make it here he can make it anywhere," writes the BBC's Tom Fordyce. "Sporting precedent indicates that when his coach Lendl finally won a Slam after four final defeats of his own, he then went on to win seven more.

"That worry can wait for another week. In Britain's best ever sporting summer, Murray deserves a little time to celebrate as the rest of us have since May squelched into June.

"Only one fear remains," says Fordyce. After a summer in which "hoodoos and holy grails and history books have all gone up in smoke", with Team GB winning 29 Olympic golds and Bradley Wiggins giving us a British Tour de France champion, "How do we top all this?"

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