Murray desperate Britain builds on historic legacy
Date published :
11 Sep 2012 - 04:47:17
Andy Murray is determined that Britain won't have to wait another lifetime to uncover a Grand Slam champion after his historic US Open triumph ended 76 years of failure and near-misses.
The 25-year-old defeated world number two and defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-6 (12/10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in an epic final on Monday to become his nation's first men's major winner since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray had lost all of his four previous Grand Slam finals until he broke through in a roller-coaster win over Australian Open champion Djokovic, who had already won five majors despite being a contemporary of the Scot.
"I'm very, very happy, and I just hope I can see another British player in my lifetime win a Grand Slam," said Murray.
"I'm sure Fred Perry's smiling from up there that someone has finally managed to do it from Britain."
Until Monday, Britain had endured a miserable Grand Slam record in the decades which followed Perry's last major triumph in New York, which came in the year the Spanish Civil War started and Franklin D. Roosevelt won a landslide US presidential victory.
Bunny Austin making the Wimbledon final in 1938 was the last time a British man had made such a run until Murray broke through to the All England Club championship match, where he lost to Roger Federer in July this year.
John Lloyd was a beaten finalist in Australia in 1977 while Canadian-born Greg Rusedski was runner-up to Pat Rafter in New York in 1997.
Only Murray has troubled the sport's record books since, finishing runner-up at the 2008 US Open, as well as the 2010 and 2011 Australian Opens, until his loss at this year's Wimbledon.
"When you're on the court, you don't necessarily feel it (the history), but I know when I was serving for the match, there's a sense of how big a moment that is in British tennis history really," added Murray.
"I know more than most. British players? I have been asked about it many times when I got close to winning Grand Slams before.
"It's something that hasn't happened for a long time obviously in our country. And, yeah, I'm proud that I managed to achieve it, and, yeah, I don't have to get asked that stupid question.
"I hope it inspires some kids to play tennis and also takes away the notion that British tennis players choke or don't win or it's not a good sport."
Olympic champion Murray insists there is a healthy future for the sport in Britain, pointing to Laura Robson's shock run to the women's fourth round after sending Kim Clijsters into retirement and defeating 2011 French Open winner Li Na.
In the boys' juniors, Liam Broady made the final of a tournament that Murray won in 2004.
"It's in a very good place in the UK right now. Obviously Laura has done very well. The Olympics was great for us. Liam Broady was in the final here in the juniors. It's in a good place. I hope it stays that way," said Murray.