Andy Murray wins US Open
At the fifth time of asking and in the most dramatic way possible, Andy Murray became a grand slam champion.
- Related Content
After winning the first two sets of the US Open final against Novak Djokovic, it looked like another chance was slipping through the Scot's fingers when the 2011 champion forced a decider but Murray came through 7-6 (12/10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2.
In a twist of fate, Murray's victory came 79 years to the day since Fred Perry won his first grand slam title at the US Open and ended Britain's 76-year wait for a men's singles grand slam champion.
The 25-year-old also became the first man in history to win Olympic singles gold and the US Open in the same year and emulated coach Ivan Lendl in winning his first grand slam trophy at his fifth attempt.
The final was put back a day for the fifth straight year because of bad weather on Saturday, when Murray had coped well in almost unplayable conditions while Djokovic had not before his match against David Ferrer was suspended.
The wind was certainly the dominant factor in the early stages as the pair exchanged breaks but Murray was again dealing with it better and he moved 4-2 ahead only for Djokovic to fight back.
The James Bond theme played as Sir Sean Connery was shown on the big screen while Sir Alex Ferguson also arrived, with the Manchester United manager sitting in Murray's box.
The two Scottish knights had gatecrashed Murray's press conference on Friday to congratulate their countryman, and he certainly needed the support now.
The rallies got ever longer and more intense and a tie-break was needed to separate them, which turned out to be suitably epic.
Murray was playing catch-up all the way until he had the first set point at 6-5, which Djokovic saved with a gutsy smash.
It was a pattern that was to become all too familiar as four more times Murray created set point only to miss his opportunity before, on the sixth chance a serve did not come back.
It was only the second set Murray had ever won in a grand slam final and, like the Wimbledon final against Roger Federer, it was the opening set he took.
He went on to lose the next three that day but Djokovic was rattled and Murray reeled off four games in a row at the start of the second set.
The Serb retrieved one break immediately, which seemed a minor detail until Murray faltered serving for the set and was broken again.
It was a big blow after he had held such a commanding lead, and Djokovic was now well and truly out of his slump and pushing to level the match.
But Murray held for 6-5, celebrating with a yell of 'come on', and it proved a key moment when in the next game Djokovic missed a smash to hand his opponent two set points.
Arthur Ashe roared and, although he saved one with a good serve, a forehand wide sealed it for Murray.
This was now uncharted territory but there was still an awfully long way to go, with Djokovic having demonstrated his ability to come back from seemingly impossible positions many times in the last two years.
Murray also has a tendency to dip at the start of third sets and, although he got out of jail in the first game, in the third he could not prevent Djokovic breaking through.
The Scot had his chance to hit back in the sixth game but Djokovic saved two break points, roaring himself on.
Murray, too, was shouting at himself and he gave an insight into his mental state by revealing his legs felt like jelly, and a poor game allowed the Serb to take a 5-2 lead, which he quickly converted into the set.
Murray badly needed a good start to the fourth set but he did not get it, the Scot's forehand beginning to regularly find the net as Djokovic broke through again.
At least Murray saved a break point to prevent his opponent taking a 3-0 lead, but he was beginning to look rather disconsolate.
He showed more aggression in the next game to force a break point but Djokovic, fired up by a code violation for taking too long before serving, held on.
Murray was playing well again, though, and had Djokovic literally on his backside in one astonishing point in the sixth game.
Still the break back would not come, Djokovic serving better than he had at any point all evening, and as the match entered its fifth hour the Serb had his first set point on the Murray serve, taking it when his opponent fired a backhand long.
No one had come back from two sets down to win the US Open since Pancho Gonzalez in 1949 but Djokovic had both momentum and experience on his side.
However, there was a twist at the start of the decider when Murray got a bit of luck with a net cord and a potentially crucial break.
The 25-year-old then showed defensive skills worthy of his opponent to hold for 2-0, whipping up the crowd into a frenzy.
Suddenly Djokovic looked weary and Murray was half way there when the Serb netted a simple forehand to hand his opponent a second straight break.
He had, of course, been in a similar position in the second set only for Djokovic to hit back, and it was deja vu as the Serb pulled one break back straight away.
It was torture for both players' supporters, but some brilliant serving from Murray gave him breathing space, and then suddenly he was a game away.
Djokovic made his opponent wait for the biggest service game of his life as he received treatment to his right thigh, drawing boos from the crowd who clearly felt it was unsporting.
But Murray gave the best response, setting up three championship points and taking the second when Djokovic drilled a forehand long.
After four hours and 54 minutes, the joint longest US Open final in history, Murray had done it, sinking to his knees in delight, disbelief and sheer exhaustion as his family and friends hugged each other and cried. Even Lendl smiled, just about.
Andy Murray factfile
1987: Born May 15, Dunblane, Scotland.
1999: December - Wins junior Orange Bowl title in Miami.
2004: September - Becomes first British winner of US Open boys' title, beating Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.
2005: March - Becomes youngest British Davis Cup player, aged 17, in match against Israel.
June - Defeats Radek Stepanek to become first Scot to reach third round at Wimbledon. Loses to David Nalbandian.
October - Reaches first ATP final at Thailand Open, losing to Roger Federer.
2006: February 20 - Claims first ATP title by beating Lleyton Hewitt in San Jose.
February 28 - Moves above Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in rankings to become British number one.
April 14 - Splits from coach Mark Petchey.
July 3 - Loses to Marcos Baghdatis in fourth round at Wimbledon.
July 26 - American Brad Gilbert appointed Murray's new coach.
2007: January 22 - Loses five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal in Australian Open fourth round.
February 18 - Defends San Jose title with victory over Ivo Karlovic.
October 28 - Wins St Petersburg Open, beating Fernando Verdasco.
November 14 - Splits with coach Gilbert.
2008: July 2 - Loses to Nadal in Wimbledon quarter-finals.
August 3 - Defeats Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati to claim first Masters Series title.
August 12 - Suffers first-round defeat by Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei at Beijing Olympics.
September 7 - Beats top seed Nadal in semi-finals of US Open to reach first grand slam final.
September 8 - Beaten 6-2 7-5 6-2 by defending champion Federer in US Open final.
September 21 - Wins his singles matches but Great Britain lose to Austria to be relegated from Davis Cup World Group.
October 19 - Wins Madrid Masters with victory over Gilles Simon.
October 26 - Wins St Petersburg Open, beating Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev.
2009: January 11 - Wins Qatar Open, beating Andy Roddick.
March - Wins Miami Masters, beating Djokovic.
May 11 - Overtakes Djokovic to become world number three.
June 2 - Loses to Fernando Gonzalez in French Open quarter-finals.
June 14 - Becomes first British player since 1938 to win Queen's Club title, beating James Blake in the final.
July 3 - Reaches first Wimbledon semi-final but loses 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-6 to Roddick.
August 16 - Wins Montreal Masters with victory over Juan Martin Del Potro, and becomes world number two.
November 8 - Wins comeback event in Valencia after wrist injury. Later finishes year at world number four.
2010: January 31 - Loses 6-3 6-4 7-6 to Federer in Australian Open final.
May 30 - Beaten by Tomas Berdych in French Open fourth round.
July 2 - Loses Wimbledon semi-final 6-4 7-6 6-4 to Nadal.
July 27 - Splits with coach Miles Maclagan after two and a half years.
August 15 - Beats Nadal and Federer as he defends his Masters title in Toronto.
October 17 - Beats Federer in final to win Shanghai Masters.
November 27 - Loses 7-6 3-6 7-6 to Nadal after more than three hours in a classic semi-final at ATP World Tour Finals in London.
2011: January 30 - Beaten 6-4 6-2 6-3 by Djokovic in second successive Australian Open final.
June 3 - Loses 6-4 7-5 6-4 to eventual champion Nadal in French Open semi-final.
June 13 - Beats Tsonga to win AEGON Championships at Queen's Club.
July 1 - Loses 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4 against Nadal in Wimbledon semi-final.
September 10 - Loses 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2 to Rafael Nadal in US Open semi-final.
September 18 - Helps Great Britain win Davis Cup promotion with a 5-0 victory over Hungary in Glasgow.
October 2 - Beats American Donald Young 6-2 6-0 in Thailand Open final.
October 9 - Beats Nadal 3-6 6-2 6-0 to win Japan Open final.
October 16 - Completes hat-trick of tournament victories by beating David Ferrer 7-5 6-4 in Shanghai Masters final, to take him above Federer and to number three in world rankings.
November 22 - Pulls out of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a groin injury.
December 31 - Hires eight-time grand slam winner Ivan Lendl as his new coach.
2012: January 27 - Loses 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 7-5 to Djokovic in epic Australian Open semi-final lasting four hours and 50 minutes.
June 6 - Murray's French Open run ends in the quarter-finals with defeat by David Ferrer.
July 6 - Reaches Wimbledon final for the first time with a 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-5 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
July 8 - Federer denies Murray in the Wimbledon final, winning 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 to land a record-equalling seventh title. Murray breaks down in tears in his on-court interview, saying: "I'm getting closer."
August 5: Wins Olympic gold medal in singles at Wimbledon by beating Federer 6-2 6-1 6-4, and then takes silver in mixed doubles with Laura Robson after a final defeat to Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka.
September 8: Books place in fifth grand slam final with US Open semi-final win over Tomas Berdych, taking the match 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6 (9/7).
September 10: Finally breaks his grand slam duck, beating Djokovic in 7-6 (12/10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 to win the US Open.