Andy Murray just beat the number one ranked player in the world, on his home court, to win the Wimbledon title over Novak Djokovic in straight sets: 4-6, 5-7, 4-6. On the difficult road to finally winning a title in Britain, the internet and an entire nation rallied behind him. Over a gruelling 3 hours and nine minutes, Murray and Djokovic sparred like swordsmen at Center Court. Do not let the straight sets fool you: this match was always close, teetering from one direction to the other when, after an amazing rally for the final championship point, Murray overcame every professional demon that has haunted his professional career to end a 77 year drought.
"We've waited 77 years for this," the announcer teased. "Your 2013 Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray!" The crowd roared, a nation swayed, and a legacy was finally cemented. Andy Murray is the first British man to win a Wimbledon title since Fred Perry in 1936. It was a hard road, though, with a disappointment in last year's final and falling behind in the second and third set to the best player in the world today. But the screaming fans -- not your typical tennis crowd, by a long shot -- rallied around him and guided him towards a title.
The championship point is the highlight you'll be seeing for the rest of the week. It was rally that seemed to go forever with both players running from side to side and front to back. "I have no idea what happened," Murray said afterwards. "I don't even know how long that last game was. I'm sorry I don't remember it."
The viewers in Britain and at home in the U.S. were commentating on social media and supporting Murray anyway they could. Everyone was on the edge of their seats through the whole match:
This is so incredibly awesome.— edsbs (@edsbs) July 7, 2013
no one tell Andy where he is right now— Emma Carmichael (@emmacargo) July 7, 2013
hard to comprehend a world in which Murray doesn't let everyone down and Novak doesn't piss everyone off— Emma Carmichael (@emmacargo) July 7, 2013
just sitting here in my living room yelling out "AND-AYYYYYYYYYY" every 30 seconds— Emma Carmichael (@emmacargo) July 7, 2013
No other sport has this much painful drama. None.— Luis Paez-Pumar (@paezpumarL) July 7, 2013
just stress ate three navel oranges— edsbs (@edsbs) July 7, 2013
THIS ONE IS FOR ALL THE FISH AND CHIPS— Luis Paez-Pumar (@paezpumarL) July 7, 2013
And, finally, he took the title home. Then, bedlam:
Genuinely concerned about the crowd’s sanity now.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) July 7, 2013
LEVITATING— edsbs (@edsbs) July 7, 2013
Andy Murray, slayer of dragons— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) July 7, 2013
Sir Andrew Barron Murray.— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) July 7, 2013
How awesome is that...great for Andy Murray.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 7, 2013
WHAT IS THE LONDON EQUIVALENT OF LIV? LET'S GO THERE TONIGHT, I BET IT WILL BE FUN.— David Cho (@davidcho) July 7, 2013
There was always some debate over whether Andy Murray really counted as a "British" man. He's from Scotland, after all. But that was mostly a silly debate muddling his quest for greatness. The AndyMurrayOMeter settled it, finally: "AS OF TODAY, ANDY MURRAY IS OFFICIALLY 100% BRITISH." It's done.
After embracing his parents, saluting the crowd and shaking the appropriate hands backstage, the new champion showed his new trophy to the world:
Everything the light touches is yours, Andy.
[Inset GIF via @erikmal]