It took a five-hour tennis marathon, several mind-blowing momentum changes, and the occasional battles with flying on-court debris, but Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic on a Monday evening match where the wind and fatigue were enormous factors
It was freaking historic. This is Andy Murray's first ever Grand Slam tournament win and the first Grand Slam win for a British man since 1936, if you keep track of that kind of thing. Seriously, it was one hell of a men's final, and the crowd was on their feet and going berserk even five hours in.
Murray started masterfully and swept the first two sets. The gold medal-winning Scotsman then melted like a petulant kid in the third, losing both the third and the fourth set 2-6 and 3-6. With the chips down, Murray hunkered down to regain composure and win. Murray looked like he couldn't even believe the victory himself.
The crowd turned pretty hard for Murray after an exceptionally long, 90-minute first set. The tiebreaker alone for that first set took nearly a half hour. Djokovic was so flustered that he threw his racket at his chair, though the racket bounced back nicely and continued to be used in the match. Murray continued to play Djokovic tightly to win the second set.
The plot would thicken pretty hard in the third set with Murray up two-love, but Djokovic regained momentum as the weather cooled and the game slowed, The chants of "Nole! Nole!" started up, and you could just see Murray beginning to unravel again against a higher-ranked player in a Grand Slam tournament.
Murray lost service right away in the fourth set. He looked visibly worn down, while Djokovic's volleys seemed to get stronger. After Murray edged the towering Serb in the first two sets, Djokovic smoked Murray with ease in the third and fourth.
The fifth was Nailbite City.
After going up 3-0 and appearing to have his mojo back, Murray started to look like the guy who had lost to Djokovic on this court before. But Murray broke Djokovic's serve, refused to let himself get iced when Djokovic called a delay to have his knee looked at, and successfully issued a challenge on a ball called out that video replay showed was actually in bounds by the teeniest fraction of a hairline.
And that is it for the Grand Slam tennis tournaments this year! If you're junked out on tennis, be aware that the Australian Open is not for another 127 days. The replay of the Murray-Djokovic final is available at USOpen.org, if you have four hours and 54 minutes to kill.
Andy Murray wins the U.S. Open