No words. . .Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Wow. What a way to win your first Major title. Was it worth the wait, Andy? I hope so! I know that for most tennis fans – and not just the ones living in the U.K. – we were ready and waiting for this day to finally happen. Any piece on this victory would be incomplete without it, so here goes: Andy Murray becomes the first British man to win a Major singles title since Fred Perry won in New York in 1936.
Even without the added, well, oomph of having both Federer and Nadal absent from this last weekend in NYC, there was something about this result that seemed inevitable from the beginning. After Murray’s showing at Wimbledon and the Olympics, the US Open – where he reached his first of four previous Major finals – seemed the likely spot for his coronation of Major Champion.
Yes, the stars were all in neat alignment, as long as you could ignore the inconvenient truth that Novak Djokovic was playing out-of-this-world tennis all tournament long.
In the end – and by that I’m talking the fifth set and five hours on court on a Monday final – it did all come together for Andy. He recovered from Nole’s superman-like surge in sets three and four and held strong in the final set. There had been plenty of emotional outbursts on both sides throughout the match, but Andy’s silent, low-key-to-the-point-of-non-existent reaction after match point came across loud-and-clear: relief/disbelief/exhaustion to the nth degree.
“It wasn’t to be,” Novak Djokovic expressed himself in an extremely classy runner’s up speech. “I want to congratulate Andy for his first Grand Slam. He absolutely deserves it.”
Andy Murray kept the waterworks in check during his remarks, saying: “It was incredibly tricky conditions. After the 3rd and 4th sets it was tough mentally for me. Novak is so, so strong. I don’t know how I managed it.”
I wish MC Mary Carillo hadn’t stage managed the player’s final remarks as much as she did, though from past experience CBS does force everyone to hurry it along. I would have liked to hear a little more from Andy, but after five hours of tennis and one very long journey to his first Major title, I guess there really wasn’t much more he could say.
(Looking forward to the pressers!)