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Murray a champion at last after US Open triumph

Andy Murray finally secured his first Grand Slam win in his fifth final, beating Novak Djokovic in an epic five set match in New York. He became the first British tennis player to win one of the big four tournaments since 1936.

Murray had started with typical combativeness, securing the first set after a long-drawn out tie-break in which Murray finally prevailed 12-10. After he let a 4-0 lead slip in the second set, those familiar with Murray’s final record were worried, but the Scot called on reserves of concentration and won the set 7-5. He required just one more set to be champion.

That proved to be be incredibly tough. The defending champion battled back and won the next two sets and seemed to have the momentum for the deciding set. Murray had other ideas, raising his game while Djokovic tired. Murray won the set 6-2, and lifted the trophy. "After the third and fourth sets it was really tough for me," Murray admitted. "Novak is such a fighter. I just managed to get through."

The mental resilience must be attributed in part to the contribution of notoriously dour coach Ivan Lendl, who experienced defeat and triumph at Grand Slam finals on numerous occasions. "I think that was almost a smile I just saw,” Murray said of his coach. "He's one of the greatest players, made eight consecutive finals. I want to thank not just him, but the whole team, who have been there from the start."

Murray heads into 2013 as a new player, an Olympic champion, US champion and a Briton with a Grand Slam singles title to his name.

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