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July 7, 2013

Murray ends Britain's 77-year wait at Wimbledon

(Continued)

LONDON —

Now it was deuce.

"I started to feel nervous and started thinking about what just happened," Murray said. "There's a lot of things you're thinking of at that moment."

The match continued for eight additional points.

Seemed to take an eternity.

"Just how that last game went, my head was kind of everywhere. I mean, some of the shots he came up with were unbelievable," Murray said. "At the end of the match, I didn't quite know what was going on. Just a lot of different emotions."

Any of Djokovic's break points in that game would have made it 5-all, and who knows what toll that would have taken on Murray's mind? But Murray erased the first two chances with a 116 mph service winner, then a forehand winner on the 21st stroke.

At deuce for a third time, Djokovic conjured up a forehand passing winner to get his third break point. Murray dropped his head and placed his hands on his knees. The crowd clapped rhythmically and shouted, "Andy! Andy!" They couldn't know it, but their man wouldn't lose another point.

On a 16-shot point, Djokovic delivered an overhead that was retrieved, then tried a drop shot that Murray got back. Djokovic put the ball in the net, and Murray was at match point No. 4. When that one went Murray's way, the ball on Djokovic's side of the court, Murray dropped his neon-red racket, yanked his white hat off and pumped both fists overhead, screaming, "Yes! Yes!"

Soon, Murray was climbing into the guest box for hugs with his girlfriend, his mother and his coach, Ivan Lendl, who won eight major titles as a player but never fared better than the runner-up at Wimbledon.

"I didn't always feel it was going to happen," Murray said. "It's incredibly difficult to win these events. I don't think that's that well-understood sometimes. It takes so much hard work, mental toughness, to win these sort of tournaments."

It took 77 years for a British man to win this particular, prestigious tournament.

And Murray was the one to end the wait.

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