A magnificent straight sets victory for Andy Murray has broken the duck of 77 years since the last British Men’s Singles winner, Fred Perry in 1936. The 6-4,7-4,6-4 nail-biter against World Number One, Novak Djokovic of Serbia was played in blistering heat on Centre Court in SW19, but the Scot maintained his composure to the end, despite missing three match points in game ten of the third set. Following the match, Murray was elated, disbelieving and joyous. He acknowledged that he had no recollection whatsoever of the final match point; in fact Djokovic netted a returning backhand after a match where the Serbian seemed somewhat under par, although the defeated Djokovic graciously acknowledged that the Scot “deserved to win. Me, you know, I should have played better in the decisive moments”.
Bookmakers have mixed views of his outstanding win. Steve Freeth of bet365 says “Our outright position meant we were cheering on Murray and it was a relief to see him end the wait” but many bookies took a big financial hit, including Coral whose spokesman Dave Stevens wryly comments “Murray has cost us a substantial payout. It was the final we dreaded, our costliest Wimbledon final ever”.
While some bookmakers are reeling with shock following reported seven figure losses from Murray’s victory, punters are enjoying their spoils and revving up for more bets on the World Number 2 who currently holds the US Open, Wimbledon and Olympic titles. Attention is now swiftly turning to the US Open, Sports Personality of the Year and, of course, the possibility that Murray will retain his Wimbledon title next year.
Murray and Djokovic are competing for the Men’s US Open – to be held at Flushing Meadows, NYC, from August 26 to September 8 – with the Serbian the marginal favourite (despite Murray’s triumph at the US Open last year) at betting odds of 15/8 from BetVictor, as opposed to 11/5 for a Murray win from bookmaker 888sport. Their compelling rivalry is also acknowledged in the betting for the 2014 Wimbledon where Murray this time edges out the Serb, with odds of 7/4 that he will retain his title (from bookmaker Stan James) and odds of 9/4 from bookmaker SkyBet that Djokovic will wrench the famous trophy from his grasp.
Last year, Murray came third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony, behind winner Bradley Wiggins and runner-up Jessica Ennis. No surprise, though, that he is hotly tipped to win the public vote this year with bookmaker William Hill offering odds of 1/20 that he will win.
Double grand-slam champion, Andy Murray, triumphed at Wimbledon despite the intense pressure of expectation from the media and the British public, despite the blisteringly hot weather, despite being forced to run round the court more than his opponent. Now, we can look forward to the Murray-Djokovic rivalry continuing with more confidence and enjoyment; the monkey is off Murray’s back.