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Tennis fans from around the world could feel the weight being lifted from Murray's shoulders as his U.S. Open victory began to set in.
Defeating Djokovic in the U.S. Open final was particularly significant for Murray given their long, competitive history. But the victory's significance is more directly tied to what it represents than whom it came against.
Murray and Djokovic have had a very close match history. That fact, combined with Murray’s victory in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympic Games, had to leave him with a fair amount of confidence entering yesterday’s battle.
It may have been Djokovic physically opposing him on the court, but Murray was also fighting a second, much tougher opponent in his own self-doubt.
Those four previous losses in Grand Slam finals—one to Djokovic in the 2011 Australian Open and three losses to Federer, including this summer’s crushing defeat at Wimbledon—were on everyone’s mind, including Murray’s.
There was also the unique pressure that Murray felt as the pride of England. He’s been on a career-long quest to become the first British man to win a Major since Perry's victory 76 years ago.
He was clearly eager to win one for the queen and finally end the speculation surrounding his ability to win a Major.
Murray has never shied away from sharing the disappointment from his losses with the viewing public. In fact, that emotional honesty is a major part of his allure.
It was easy, then, to appreciate the tears of joy that he shed once the reality of the U.S. Open victory finally hit him. Andy Murray has finally arrived and the tennis world couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the party.