Andy Murray becomes the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years with a straight sets victory over Novak Djokovic.
It is the moment many British tennis fans feared might never happen.
Seventy-seven years ago Fred Perry, now more famous for his shirts than his shots, won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon on the lawns of south west London. That match in 1936 took less than an hour.
In 2013, Andy Murray carved out victory against Novak Djokovic, the world number one, in a little over three hours.
To the millions of people watching inside a sweltering Centre Court – and on TV sets and big screens across Britain – it felt like a five-set nail-biter, ending with the most tense and heart-stopping final game, perhaps since Goran Ivanisevic began crying as he served out his triumph here in 2001.
Murray needed four championship points, and had to fend off break points, before sealing the deal. There were no tears. In the post-match interview he revealed he could not remember any of the shots in that final game, but said it was certainly the “toughest” of his life.
The 26-year-old had in fact battled through with unswerving focus, and without dropping a set, to beat Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
Murray sank to his knees in the moment of victory, holding back tears as he took in the reality of a win which redefines British tennis.
He then followed the Wimbledon tradition, begun by Pat Cash in 1987, of climbing into the crowd to hug his family, coach and support staff, including his girlfriend Kim Sears, who had looked to be in prayer as the game reached its dramatic climax.
In the confused joy of the moment, Murray forgot to find his mother Judy – she called him back and the pair embraced.
I know you’ve been waiting for a British winner. I hope you guys enjoyed it – I did my best! Andy Murray
Murray finally cracked a smile himself as he clutched the famous golden trophy, 12 months after losing to Roger Federer here – when he famously sobbed.
“It feels slightly different to last year,” he joked.
“It was an unbelievably tough match – I’m just so glad to finally do this.
“I’ve played Novak many times and he’s come back so many times – he almost did the same today.
“I just managed to squeeze through.”
The atmosphere around the All England Club, described as the “best ever” by Murray, saw regular shouts: “All yours Andy” from one fan, several cries of “I love you Andy”, and “You’re a genius Andy, a genius,” from another.
To the fans Murray said, “I know you’ve been waiting for a British winner.
“I hope you guys enjoyed it – I did my best!”
He also described winning Wimbledon as “the pinnacle of tennis”.
— FM Alex Salmond (@AlexSalmond) July 7, 2013
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) July 7, 2013
Congratulations Andy Murray. A historic and amazing moment for him and for the whole country.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) July 7, 2013