Andy Murray became the first British man to win a tennis Grand Slam in 76 years after being crowned champion at the US Open.
Murray made history after beating Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set match at Flushing Meadows in New York.
The 25-year-old Scot won his first grand slam at his fifth attempt - the same as his coach, Ivan Lendl. Murray’s win makes him the first man to win Olympic singles gold and the US Open in the same year and his victory will help keep the nation’s Olympic feelgood factor alive.
After winning the first two sets of the match in very windy conditions, it looked like another chance was slipping through the Scot’s fingers when the 2011 champion fought back to level at two sets all. But Murray powered his way to three games to love up, and at 5-2 up and with three championship points in Murray’s favour, Djokovic hit a forehand over the baseline to give British tennis fans the win they had craved for so many years.
As the match ended Murray dropped to his haunches and held his head in his hands as the enormity of his achievement began to dawn on him.
And after Djokovic gave his gracious congratulations, Murray finally accepted his first Grand Slam trophy, kissing the US Open silverware and lifting it to the sky.
Speaking after the match, Murray said: “After the third and fourth sets it was tough mentally - Novak is so strong, he fights until the end of every match and I don’t know how I managed to come through in the end. That was almost a smile (from Ivan Lendl). He’s one of greatest players ever to play, here he made eight consecutive finals. Having him here supporting me has helped in the tough moments, but not only him, everyone else too. They’ve been there since the start. Thanks very much.”
Murray took his crown after a tempestuous four hours and 54 minutes of play, eventually winning the match 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2, watched by his fellow countrymen Sir Sean Connery and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Speaking after the final on Sky Sports 1, Murray said: “Right now, there’s a lot of relief and I’m still buzzing a bit from the match - the atmosphere out there was unbelievable. It would have been a tough one to lose so I’m so, so happy I managed to pull though in the end. The body’s hurting a bit but it was worth it.”
First Minister Alex Salmond added: “Congratulations to Andy Murray on what was a fantastic performance. This is another brilliant win over Novak Djokovic and continues an amazing year for Andy. Now Olympic and US Open champion, Andy truly is a Scottish sporting legend and I’m certain that more grand slam titles will follow.”