• Wimbledon

Murray: Crowd helped me cross the line

ESPN staff
July 8, 2013
Andy Murray ended Britain's long wait for a Wimbledon men's champion © PA Photos

Andy Murray has thanked the British public for helping to make the difference as he won Wimbledon on Sunday, after admitting he had doubted he would ever win the famous tournament.

Murray ended a 77-year British wait for a men's singles champion at the All England Club with an emphatic three-set victory over Novak Djokovic on Centre Court, emulating Fred Perry's third and final triumph back in 1936.

The triumph was greeted with a huge national outpouring of emotion, with thousands inside the All England Club grounds clamouring to celebrate with the 26-year-old and millions more around the world watching on television.

Speaking afterwards, Murray admitted that the pressure of national expectations had weighed heavily on him in the past - but in the final against Djokovic it was the support of the crowd that ultimately helped push him on to win that final game.

"It's really hard. You know, the last four or five years it's been very, very tough, very stressful, a lot of pressure," Murray said. "It's so hard to avoid everything because of how big this event is, but also because of the history and no Brit having won.

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

On the support, he added: "It really helps when the atmosphere is like that. Especially in a match as tough as that one where it's extremely hot, brutal, long rallies, tough games, they [the crowd] help you get through it."

Murray dedicated the victory to coach Ivan Lendl and the people of Dunblane, who had both supported him through the good times and the bad.

"I'd just say thanks for always supporting me," he said of those fans from his home town. "I'm glad I managed to win this one for them.

"I spoke to my grandparents on the phone. They were watching the match at the local sports club where I grew up playing. It was absolutely packed in there."

The Scot hopes that his second grand slam success will not change his life - perhaps a slightly naïve belief.

"I don't know how it will change my life," he said. "I hope not too much."

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