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Murray wins historic first Grand Slam title at U.S. Open

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
September 11, 2012 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Murray becomes the first British man to win a Grand Slam in 76 years
  • The Scot won the five-set thriller despite surrendering a two-set lead
  • Murray won the Gold medal earlier in the summer at the London Olympics
  • Murray will now replace the injured Rafael Nadal as World Number 3

Editor's note: Read a version of this story in Arabic

(CNN) -- Andy Murray became the first British man to win a Grand Slam final since Fred Perry in 1936 after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final of the U.S. Open.

The Scot even surrendered a two-set lead during a five-set thriller that lasted almost five hours, before he regained his focus to win 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 in swirling winds at Flushing Meadows.

It proved to be fifth time lucky for the Olympic champion, who -- like his coach Ivan Lendl -- had lost his previous four Grand Slam finals.

Murray will now replace the injured Rafael Nadal as world No.3 in the official men's rankings.

'Shocked' Williams wins U.S. Open final thriller

"They were incredibly tricky conditions. It was really tough because Novak is really strong and fights all the way," said Murray after the final.

"I have always had tough matches with him. I don't know how I managed to come through in the end."

Andy Murray of Great Britain kisses the U.S. Open championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match on Day 15 of the 2012 U.S. Open on Monday, September 10. Murray defeated Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. Check out images from the Women's U.S. Open Final. Andy Murray of Great Britain kisses the U.S. Open championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match on Day 15 of the 2012 U.S. Open on Monday, September 10. Murray defeated Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. Check out images from the Women's U.S. Open Final.
2012 U.S. Open Men's Final
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2012 U.S. Open Men\'s Final 2012 U.S. Open Men's Final

With his support team in New York swelled by fellow celebrity Scots, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and actor Sean Connery, the 25 year old singled out Lendl, a three-time U.S. Open champion, for praise.

Fred Perry, winner of all four Grand Slams, poses with his trophy on September 12, 1936, after winning the men's singles against Donald Budge at what was then called the U.S. Championships. Not for another 76 years would another British man, Andy Murray, win a Grand Slam title. CNN looks at other momentous events that happened in 1936. Fred Perry, winner of all four Grand Slams, poses with his trophy on September 12, 1936, after winning the men's singles against Donald Budge at what was then called the U.S. Championships. Not for another 76 years would another British man, Andy Murray, win a Grand Slam title. CNN looks at other momentous events that happened in 1936.
1936: When last British man won
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1936 in photos: When last British man won 1936 in photos: When last British man won

"He was one of the greatest," Murray said. "He has helped me through the tough times as have all of my team. It's the best feeling for me, I've had an unbelievable summer."

Can Murray win first tennis grand slam?

Murray put the bitter disappointment of losing this year's Wimbledon final against Roger Federer behind him by taking the Gold medal at the London Olympics at the Swiss star's expense -- a result many believed could be a turning point in the Dunblane-born star's Grand Slam fortunes.

Andy Murray carries the Olympic torch

But it was never going to be easy on Monday night.

After narrowly losing the first two sets, Djokovic proved why he was the 2011 champion in New York, as he battled back to take the third and fourth sets with apparent ease as far as the scoreboard was concerned -- but in reality both players fought tooth and nail for every single point.

Though the momentum appeared to be with Djokovic, Murray refused to give up and summoned his earlier verve and aggression to put his visibly tiring opponent on the back foot once again.

Federer reflects on Wimbledon win

Not even a late pause for treatment on the Serb's cramping leg could prevent Murray from closing in on the prize British tennis has coveted for 76 years, much to the delight of the crowd inside the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Wimbledon: Murray fans disappointed

When the final shot of the match -- a rasping forehand from Djokovic -- went long, Murray was left visibly stunned by his achievement. But he had finally overcome lingering doubts about his mental fortitude when it mattered most.

Despite his own disappointment, Djokovic was quick to pay pay tribute to his great friend and rival.

"It wasn't to be and I want to congratulate Andy on a first Grand Slam. He deserves it," said the Serbian.

"I tried my best and I gave it my all. It was another tremendous match and I am proud to have been part of it. It went to the last moment."

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