Andy Murray has broken through for his first major title with a stunning five-set triumph over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final. He won the first two sets before holding off a spirited fightback from second seed Djokovic to finally clinch the match 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 in four hours and 54 minutes – the equal longest US Open final in history.
The third seed, who had lost his previous four Grand Slam finals, is the first British man to taste major success since Fred Perry won the last of his four titles at Wimbledon in 1936. Both players made a nervous start with neither holding their opening service game and they traded another break each before a tie-break was needed to decide the opening set.
Murray took the initiative in the breaker and despite squandering five set points, he finally clinched it 12-10 in 87 minutes. He carried his momentum into the second round when he raced out to a 4-0 lead to seemingly take control of the match. But Djokovic fought back to level at 5-5 before Murray regrouped to break again and take a two-set lead.
The Serbian five-time Grand Slam champion wasn’t about to lie down though and worked his way back into the contest with two breaks helping him to the third set. Djokovic had suddenly found his range and quickly broke Murray in the opening game of the fourth set.
The second seed held that advantage for the duration of the set and then crucially broke Murray again in the final game to ensure he served first in the final set. But despite all the momentum being with Djokovic, Murray fired up and broke his serve twice on his way to an early 3-0 lead.
With a first Grand Slam title within reach nerves appeared to get the better of Murray as he handed back one of the breaks. But he wasn’t to be denied, breaking Djokovic again before serving out the match.
Murray’s triumph means it’s the first time since 2003 that four different men have won Grand Slam titles in a calendar year.