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Murray reaches 'pinnacle' of tennis
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The pressure of winning Wimbledon had buckled World No.2 Andy Murray down for years, and yesterday after winning the elusive major, the Scot was visibly overwhelmed. He found it difficult to believe hours later, as he faced the press.
“Winning Wimbledon, I think, is the pinnacle of tennis,” said the 26-year-old Scot. “I still can't believe it. Can't get my head around that. I can't believe it. This one will take a little while to sink in, I'm sure.”
The final moments of the match were excruciatingly nervous for anyone in the audience to watch, let alone the player himself. The Scot lost a 40-0 lead in the game, and saved three break points before he finally converted his fourth match point.
“I worked so hard in that last game. It's the hardest few points I've had to play in my life,” said Murray.
“He came up with some unbelievable shots in that last game. I think that's why at the end of the match I didn't quite know what was going on. [There were] just a lot of different emotions at that time. And the end mentally, that last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career, ever.”
Just 12 months prior to his win, Andy had lost in the final to Roger Federer which is where, he believes it all started. That day, the now two-time Grand Slam champion won his first set in a final at a major against the Swiss.
“Last year after the final he (Lendl) told me he was proud of the way I played, because I went for it when I had chances. It was the first time I played a match in a Grand Slam final like that. I didn't doubt myself so much after last year's final. It was the best I'd recovered from a Grand Slam loss.
“I didn't always feel it was going to happen. It's incredibly difficult to win these events. I don't think that's that well understood sometimes. It takes so much hard work and mental toughness to win these sorts of tournaments.”
The Scot also went on to credit coach Ivan Lendl, who has been with Murray for a year and a half now. Lendl began work with Murray at the start of the 2012 season, and the Czech has completely transformed Andy since taking over.
“I think he believed in me when a lot of people didn't,” said Murray. “He stuck by me through obviously some tough losses the past couple of years. He's been very patient with me. I'm just happy I managed to do it for him.”
As always, the weight of expectations was on his shoulders as he took centre stage at the All England Club. But, Murray felt that the atmosphere was a bit different compared to last year.
“It's really hard,” said Murray. “For the last four or five years, it's been very, very tough, very stressful, a lot of pressure. The few days before the tournament are really difficult, as well. It's just kind of everywhere you go. 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. It's been very, very difficult.
“The atmosphere today was different to what I've experienced in the past. It was different to last year's final, for sure. The end of the match, that was incredibly loud, very noisy. I've been saying it all week, but it does make a difference. It really helps when the crowd's like that, 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 help you get through it.”
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