New Delhi: Home favourite Andy Murray produced a scintillating game of tennis to beat big serving Milos Raonic of Canada and win his third Grand Slam single title at Wimbledon on Sunday.
Murray, 29, beat the 1.96m tall Canadian in straight sets 6-4, 7-5(3),7-5(2), in two hours 50 minutes in his third Grand Slam final of the year. It was his first final against a lower-ranked player, in the absence of traditional heavyweights.
In fact, it was the first time since 2002 that neither Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic nor Rafael Nadal have made the Wimbledon final. Besides, it was Murray`s first final from 11 at the majors where he wasn't`t facing either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer against whom he has lost eight times.
The British number had one previously won the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon titles. In 2012, a 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 win over Djokovic at the US Open made Murray Britain's first male Grand Slam singles champion in 76 years.
In front of packed Centre Court crowd at All England Club, with the British Royal family in attendance , the world number could do no wrong as he efficiently countered the booming serves from Raonic.
In the first set, Murray got the only break in the seventh game, and hold onto win the opener 6-4. His superior service return was evident from that fact that he got three break opportunities, with 30% of first serve returns fetching points.
The second set continued in the similar fashion with Murray just about managing to neutralize Raonic's big serves. He got four chances to break, but none materialised.
However, the higher ranked player stood his ground and won the set in tie-breaker, in the third opportunity. The set lasted one hour and seven minute.
With a fight on hand, Raonic tried everything in the third set, and almost got the break in the fourth game. But the 25-year-old failed to convert the two chances that came his way.
In the third set tie-breaker, Raonic saved a match point at 2-6, but lost the next one with a huge forehand into Raonic's corner and won the match.
Murray – after tasting defeats in eight other Grand Slam finals – started as the obvious favourite against the first-time finalist. The Briton also had a 6-3 lead in his head to head record against Raonic.
In their previous meeting, Murray had defeated Raonic three weeks ago in the Queen`s Club final.
Over the past fortnight, anyone brave enough to stand in Raonic`s firing line has been flatted by a series of 140 mph missiles, including Federer.
Raonic was bidding to become the first ever Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title, and his five-set win over Federer became the talking point of the tournament.
The win was his first on grass against a top 10 opponent, and it shattered Federer`s hopes of claiming a record eighth Wimbledon title and 18th major.
A win for Raonic would have made him the first player outside the so-called Big Four (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) to win Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt's victory way back in 2002.
Key match stats:
Aces: Murray - 7; Raonic - 8
Winners: Murray - 39; Raonic - 39
Unforced Errors: Murray - 12; Raonic - 29
Break Points: Murray - 1/7; Raonic - 0/2
Double Faults: Murray - 2; Raonic - 1
Total Points Won: Murray - 53% (115/217); Raonic - 47% (102/217)