Britain’s Andy Murray clinched a second Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam crown Sunday when he downed misfiring Milos Raonic of Canada 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/2). The 29-year-old world number two added the 2016 trophy to his 2013 triumph at the All England Club and his 2012 US Open breakthrough.
Appearing in his 11th final at the majors, but his first against an opponent other than Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, the Scot put on a Centre Court masterclass.
Murray buried his head in his towel and wept in the moments after victory.
“It’s the most important tournament for me every year. I’ve had some great moments and tough losses. I played some really good stuff today,” Murray said.
“The wins feel extra special because of the tough losses. I’m proud to have my hands on the trophy again.”
Murray faced just two break points in the two hour 48 minute encounter while 25-year-old Raonic, who had clobbered 137 aces going into the final, managed just eight on Sunday.
“It’s a difficult challenge. Andy has been playing great and he deserved to win, congratulations to him,” Raonic said.
“This one is going to sting. I’m going to make sure I do everything I can to be back here for another chance.”
Victory for Murray helped make up for the disappointment of losing the Australian and French Open finals to Djokovic this year.
It also illustrated the master-stroke he pulled off in tempting Ivan Lendl back into his coaching corner.
Raonic was attempting to become the first Canadian to win a Slam title but he was thwarted by Murray’s tough-as-teak defence and inspired return game.
In the final analysis, his 29 unforced errors compared to Murray’s miserly 12 proved fatal in a match where serve was broken just once.
Victory preserved the iron-grip on the majors of the sport’s ‘Big Four’ with Lleyton Hewitt the last man outside of Murray, Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal to win Wimbledon back in 2002.
Rush of blood - Fittingly for such an occasion, the Centre Court Royal Box was packed with sporting and celebrity star power.
Prince William and wife Kate were joined by former champions Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg as well as Hollywood actors Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugh Grant.
Murray had won all four of the pair’s meetings in 2016, including the Australian Open semi-finals and in the final at Queen’s Club.