ANDY MURRAY claims his career would have been viewed as a FAILURE if he had not won Wimbledon.
It was on July 7, 2013 when Britain’s 77-year wait for a homegrown male singles champion was wonderfully ended by this son of Dunblane.
Andy Murray has said he would have been seen as failure without his Wimbledon titles
Murray won his first Wimbledon in 2013
One of the great sporting moments of this century saw Murray, then aged 26, overcome Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4 on a blisteringly hot afternoon.
Though he did lift the trophy for a second time in 2016, it was THAT triumph ten years ago that defined his professional life and earned him a spot in the history books.
A poignant success given that 12 months earlier he had cried in desperation while being interviewed by Sue Barker on Centre Court after losing the final to Roger Federer.
It was only on a well-earned Caribbean holiday, once all the euphoria had died down after his win, that he could take in everything that had happened.
Murray, 36, said: “It was probably about five or six days after the final when it started to sink in and I started to enjoy it.
“I went on holiday with my wife to the Bahamas. It was just the two of us who went away. I was able to start processing everything.
“The few days building up to the final and then the days after the final . . . I found that all unbelievably stressful and really, really tiring.
“There was just relief. I do genuinely believe a lot of people would have viewed my career as being a failure had I not managed to win Wimbledon.
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“It was one of those things where it was obviously amazing to win Wimbledon but it had almost been built up. The press played a part in that, the public, myself.
“But the win didn’t change anything. You know, my life still stayed the same.
“I still went back to competing and playing tennis again but I felt like this thing had been built up into something more than what it was.
“I certainly enjoyed the 2016 win a lot more than 2013.”
The final game of the third set in 2013, when Murray led by two sets and was 5-4 up, was an epic.
Djokovic, who had been 0-40 down, had three break points on the Murray serve and who knows how the match would have progressed had he converted any one of them?
Murry won a second Wimbedon title in 2016
It was typical Murray — digging deep, never making it easy, leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats, a roller-coaster of emotions — before he finally achieved sporting immortality on his fourth Championship point.
Murray said: “The only part of that match I have seen is the last game. I don’t really watch loads of my matches back.
“That last game, I don’t know how long it was but it was like 15-20 minutes or something of chaos.
“You know, those matches are long. The 2012 US Open final was nearly five hours. Wimbledon in 2013 was close to three hours. I don’t really enjoy watching that match!
“Afterwards, I was exhausted. Twenty or 30 minutes after we got off the court, I was sitting with my wife and I wanted to sleep.
“That is not usually how you feel after a match, normally the adrenalin makes it hard to sleep but I was completely spent after the match.”
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Djokovic, whose mark of 23 Majors is more than any other male player, could find happiness amid his disappointment for a rival who is only a week older than him.
That was the last time he had been defeated on Centre Court — and he is the overwhelming favourite to claim his eighth crown on July 16.
The Serbian superstar said: “It wasn’t a great result for me. It’s painful to lose a grand slam final, especially the Wimbledon final.
“But I was happy for Andy because he deserved it. He was working so hard to get his hands on the Wimbledon title.
“I had to congratulate him because he was a better player that day and it was kind of a perfect scenario for Great Britain and for him as a British player to win at Wimbledon on Centre Court.”