Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Perfect timing: Murray wakes Britain from 77-year slumber

updated 5:57 AM EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
Andy Murray lifts the Wimbledon trophy to become the first British man to win the title since Fred Perry in 1936 following a straight sets win over Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray lifts the Wimbledon trophy to become the first British man to win the title since Fred Perry in 1936 following a straight sets win over Novak Djokovic.
HIDE CAPTION
Golden moment
Murray mania
Perry's legend
Murray Mound
A-list stars
In control
Disappointing Djokovic
Believe
First lady
Home support
At last!
Sealed with a kiss
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Murray describes last year's Wimbledon defeat as "worst of his career"
  • Murray beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Sunday to win 2013 men's tournament
  • The world No. 2 becomes the first British male to win singles title in 77 years
  • Murray defends his U.S. Open title when the tournament begins next month

(CNN) -- You can be forgiven for losing track of time the morning after a night 77 years in the making.

"Oh sorry, that's my alarm," says an apologetic Andy Murray as his alarm trills while being interviewed. "That was the finals day time for getting up, 915am ... just for yesterday."

Yesterday was Sunday July 7 and the day which saw Murray secure his place in British sporting history.

In the 24 hours between those two alarms going off, Murray's world irrevocably changed with his 6-4 7-5 6-4 win over over Novak Djokovic in straight sets ensuring he became Britain's first men's singles champion at Wimbledon since 1936.

Read: Murray wins Wimbledon

It had been the most energy-sapping three sets of his career, with the world No. 2 eventually beating the world No. 1 following three hours of brutal battle, but Murray didn't want to go to sleep.

After waiting his entire career to win the title Britain had so wanted for nearly eight decades, the Scot was scared of waking up to discover it was all a dream.

"That's the one worry you have when you go to bed," Murray told CNN after becoming the first male British singles champion at Wimbledon since Fred Perry.

"You wake up and it's actually not true, so I was obviously very happy and relieved that I had done it."

Blog: Murray grasps opportunity to make history

Twelve months ago Murray had sobbed on Centre Court after losing his first Wimbledon final to Roger Federer.

Redemption came a month later on the same court against the same opponent, only with a different outcome.

The Scot won to clinch Olympic gold at London 2012 and the hearts of a jubilant British public began to soften towards a man that had arguably come up short in the popularity stakes when compared to another British tennis star -- the now retired -- Tim Henman.

In September a first grand slam title promptly followed at the U.S. Open, as Murray beat Djokovic in five sets in New York.

"Last year was the toughest loss of my career," explained the 26-year-old Murray when asked about his defeat in last year's Wimbledon final. "It was the first time I responded well from a grand slam defeat and the Olympics helped.

"That period after the Wimbledon final and the Olympics was probably the most important of my career because it could have gone the other way. I could have not recovered from it and it could have been a struggle but I worked hard.

"I said after the semifinal that Wimbledon is the pinnacle of the sport," added Murray, referring to his comments after his last four win over Jerzy Janowicz.

"To do it with all of the pressure and stuff was really tough, it took a lot out of me. I'm just glad I don't have to worry about it anymore."

Weight of expectation

Murray might have been worrying, but so to has the British public. Worrying about a Briton winning Wimbledon has been a national pastime.

He is the country's sole male tennis star and his annual quest for grass-court glory grips millions of anxious fans.

While the shouts of encouragement inside Centre Court can work in Murray's favor, the media interest and the weight of expectation can also be a monkey on his back.

Cash on Murray triumph
Murray wins Wimbledon men's singles
Marion Bartoli on Wimbledon triumph

"During the match you try to embrace the pressures, the emotions and the struggle you're going through out there," said Murray.

"You have to embrace the occasion, but it's not necessarily enjoyment. You enjoy the winning and the outcome. If you lose, you're incredibly disappointed."

It looked as if the pressure might just be too much for Murray in what proved to be the deciding game of an absorbing final.

Murray, calm and composed, was 40-0 up with three championship points.

Ever the competitor, Djokovic showed the spirit and skill which has led him to six grand slam titles by hitting back.

A nation held its breath.

"In that moment it must have been hard for people to watch," admitted Murray, who saved three break points before Djokovic found the net and the celebrations kicked off.

"Last night I just saw the last game, it was tough to watch even though I knew the outcome," said the Scot.

After such a momentous triumph, it is tempting to suggest Murray can rest on his laurels.

But the man from Dunblane has more grand slams in his sights, starting with a return to the Big Apple at the end of August.

"For me it's been to gradual improve throughout my career," he answers. "Year upon year just getting a little bit better and change a few things.

"I will have a rest now and get myself ready to defend the U.S. Open. It will be my first time trying to defend a grand slam title so it will be a new pressure for me, a new experience and I look forward to it."

He better keep that alarm on.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
ADVERTISEMENT