Andy Murray became the first British male to win a Grand Slam title in 76 years on Monday, defeating defending U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic 7-6(10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in a four-hour and 54-minute battle of wills and wind.
Here’s what Murray and Djokovic had to say after the match.
“I had a great opponent today. He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody, I’m sure, because over the years he’s been a top player. He’s been so close; lost four finals. Now he has won it, so I would like to congratulate him. Definitely happy that he won it.”
“It’s a Grand Slam final and you want to win. There is no question about it. We both wanted this trophy. We were very hungry for it.
You know, if I won that first set and had some chances maybe the match would go a different way. But look, you know, there is no reason to go back and say, What if? What if? He’s a Grand Slam winner and he deserves to be there.”
– Djokovic, gracious in defeat and genuinely happy for his good friend.
“I was still doubting myself right up to a few minutes before you go on to play the match. You’re thinking, you know, ‘Are you going to be able to do this? This is going to be tough.’ The match against him always is going to hurt, you know, as well. Physically it’s challenging.”
“Yeah, it’s something I have never done before. I have been in this position many times and not managed to get through. So there is a lot of things you’re thinking about before you go out on the court.”
– Murray, on the intimidation of playing against of the toughest, fittest players in the world.
“It was great two weeks for me overall. I played really good tennis when I needed to. Today it was just not meant to be. You know, we played almost five hours. A lot of running, a lot of rallies. I think that says enough about the effort that we both put, you know, physical, mental effort. This time I didn’t win the match, and that’s sport.”
– Djokovic reflecting on his two weeks in New York where he made his third Slam final of the year.
“I proved that, you know, I can win the Grand Slams. I proved that I can last four and a half hours and come out on top against, you know, one of the strongest guys physically that tennis had probably seen especially on this surface.”
– Murray, on proving to himself that he belongs among the true elite of the game.
“I went to the toilet after the fourth set and just, you know, had a think and, you know, said, It’s just one more set. Give everything. You don’t want to come off this court with any regrets. Don’t get too down on yourself. Just try and fight.”
– Murray, on blowing his two set lead and being forced into a fifth set.
“Yeah, obviously he was 5‑2 up in serve and 40‑15. I mean, I didn’t give up. I mean, I had trouble moving already for last couple of games. I knew that my only chance really was to go for the shots. It didn’t work this time; it worked last year. That’s sport.”
– Djokovic, recalling the forehand he hit against Federer down match point in the 2011 semifinals that landed in and changed the match. He took the same swing today down match point. The ball sailed just long.
“Us four, you know, we are taking this game to another level, and it’s really nice to be part of such a strong men’s tennis era, you know…. It’s a privilege to be part of this era. It’s obvious that the four of us, you know, we get to the later stages of every single Grand Slam. Andy winning tonight makes it even more competitive and more interesting for people to watch it.”
– Djokovic on being part of this Golden Era of Tennis, which has been dominated by himself, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and now Andy Murray.
“I’m very happy to be part of this era in tennis. I think everyone probably in here would agree it’s one of the best ever. I think playing against them has made me improve so much. You know, I always said that maybe if I played another era maybe I would have won more, but I wouldn’t have been as good a tennis player. I think that’s how you should be judged at the end of your career, not just on how much
you’re winning but on the people you’re competing against and how good a player you actually were. Those guys are some of the best of all time.
– Murray on competing alongside some of the best to have ever played the game.
“Everyone is really, really happy. It’s been a long, long journey to this point. So I’m just I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s disbelief or whatever. I’m very, very happy on the inside. I’m sorry if I’m not showing it as you would like.”
– Murray, on his relatively subdued celebration. Smile, Andy.
“There are still doubts. You’re still thinking, ‘If I lose this one, you know, no one’s ever lost their first five finals.’ You know, I just didn’t really want to be that person.”
– Murray, on his doubts before the match.
“He just said, you know, I’m proud of you; well done. We had a hug. Then someone sprayed champagne all down my back and over
him. I think it was Danny. That kind of ended that. He started swearing. Yeah, and that was that.”
– Murray recounting his reunion with coach Ivan Lendl in the locker room after the match.
“I hope now, you know, it inspires some kids to play tennis and also takes away the notion that British tennis players choke or don’t win or it’s not a good sport.”
– Murray, on finally breaking through to end the British tennis drought.
“Obviously you’re feeling a lot of things. You know, like I was obviously very emotional. You know, I cried, you know, a little bit on the court. You’re not sad; you’re incredibly happy. You’re in a little bit of disbelief because when I have been in that position many times before and not won, you do think, you know, Is it ever going to happen? Then when it finally does, you just yeah, you’re obviously very, very excited.”
- Murray, still stunned.
“I’m going to continue on to do what I’ve done so far. I have a great team of people around me. Being No. 1 of the world this year, end of this year is, yes, one of the objectives. I’m going to try to recover from this and move on.”
– Djokovic, on his goal to get back to No. 1 by the end of the year.
“Have days without tennis.”
– Djokovic, on the key to getting over his U.S. open final defeat