Andy Murray's US Open win: The morning after

Thumb_robert-moore

Andy Murray doesn't do euphoria. But rarely have I seen a man more relieved than when he came off court and spoke to me about the match, the title, and what it means to be a British Grand Slam winner.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray Credit: Reuters

For years, Murray has been under the intense pressure of trying to break a jinx that goes back to distant 1936. That was the last time a British man triumphed at one of the major tennis tournaments.

Now we've a winner. And a man who did it with power, finesse, mental strength and physical stamina. Over five sets Murray and Djokovic battled not just each other but also gusts of wind that were playing havoc with their timing and serving.

Andy Murray celebrates in the semi finals
Andy Murray celebrates in the semi finals Credit: Reuters

When the Serb's final shot sailed just over the baseline, Murray told me he wasn't even sure he had won the point until the umpire called the score. When he embraced his opponent at the net, Djokovic told him: "You deserve it."

No one would question that after his performance last night. Best of all, Murray said, is that no one will ask him about Fred Perry again or accuse British players of 'choking.'

It caps a remarkable summer of British sport and Murray was quick to praise the Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have captured our imagination. He told me that he wanted kids to take up different sports in record numbers, hopefully inspired by his win.

In a candid moment he also spoke of the self-doubt that he had felt before the match. This was his fifth Grand Slam final and in his previous four he had won just a single set. It was clear he wasn't sure he could beat Djokovic last night. The Serb is known for extraordinary fitness and he has a stunning record on hard-courts this year.

That Murray pulled this off means he receives a huge boost in his self-confidence. I sense that he views this as just the start.

Andy Murray after losing a point in the final
Andy Murray after losing a point in the final Credit: Reuters

Murray told me this has been the greatest summer of his life, following his gold medal (and a silver in the doubles) and now this maiden Grand Slam.

Who can doubt that? The amazing and uplifting British sporting summer has received its exclamation mark.