Murray was defeated 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 4-6 by seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer at the All England Club in a match that was full of brilliant shot-making and shifts in momentum.
Murray, attempting to be the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, entered the match with the hopes of an entire nation on his back. After his post-match on-court interview, he probably brought an entire nation to tears.
The Brit is all too familiar with the feeling of Grand Slam euphoria being snatched out of his hands just before he can cross the finish line. Murray has been to four Grand Slam finals now, finishing second-best in each of those four finals—first in New York, then in Australia two years in a row and now in London.
Sunday’s loss may just have been the most heart-wrenching for Murray, but if he really believes what he said following his loss, that should be reason to smile.
Murray was only two sets shy of achieving his lifetime ambition, one set closer than he had come in each of his last three slam finals, and deservedly so.
Murray played a spectacular match on Centre Court in front of a crowd of his countrymen. He came roaring out of the gates and sent a message to Federer on the very first point. Aggressive play and an improved forehand marked new territory for Murray in a slam final.
Murray has a tendency to grow passive in tight situations, defaulting to his defensive game of simply keeping the ball in play. Murray knew he couldn’t let that happen on Sunday. Not on the grass of Wimbledon, not against Roger Federer.
Murray’s aggressive play was rewarded with two breaks and the opening set. Then the roof was closed. Faster court conditions brought out the “old” Murray. Suddenly, the confidence he played with in the first set wasn’t there. But give credit to Federer—he gave a stellar performance and came up with his best shots when he needed them most.
They say tennis is a game of inches. A backhand-passing shot-winner here, a lob shot landing out there, and this match could’ve been completely different.
Murray had his chances, and that’s something that he and coach Ivan Lendl need to build upon. Andy is too good of a player to never win a Grand Slam. As Federer said, he will win at least one major.
Murray played an excellent tournament and showed improvement from his past Grand Slam performances. While Andy has never been known for his optimism, what lies ahead in his future will surely bring a smile to his face.