The day Murray broke Britain’s curse and Lendl ‘almost smiled’
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After years of chasing the lead group of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray joined their golden-age club in earnest on a blustery Monday afternoon that turned into a chilly Monday night at the US Open.
Murray won his first Grand Slam title beating Djokovic, his boyhood and adulthood rival, never allowing himself to exit the monumental match emotionally or mentally as he made his way to a 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 win. In the process, he became the first British man to win a Slam since Fred Perry took Wimbledon and the US Championships in 1936.
Nine months after linking up as coach and ward, Ivan Lendl and Murray have something in common — players who ended their Grand Slam final losing streaks on the fifth attempt.
Lendl went on to win eight major singles titles after snapping his streak at the 1984 French Open.
Murray lost the 2010 Australian Open final to Federer, the 2011 Australian Open final to Djokovic and this year's Wimbledon final to Federer. He had also lost the 2008 US Open final to Federer.
"That's why I came on board, to help Andy win," Lendl said on Monday night. "With the Olympics, he already had won a big one in my mind. It's maybe more difficult to win than the others because you have one chance in four years and here you have four chances in one year," Lendl said.
Murray did it in his fifth final, just like Lendl, hred to help him clear the hurdle this year and who certainly was more delighted than he looked in the stands when it happened.
"I think that was almost a smile," Murray joked in the victory ceremony. "Smiles are overrated," Lendl later joked right back.
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