On This Day: Andy Murray Defeats Novak Djokovic For First Wimbledon Title In 2013

It has been 10 years since that iconic moment on Centre Court
09:00, 07 Jul 2023

Ten years ago today history was made as Andy Murray became the first male British player in 77 years to be crowned Wimbledon champion by defeating Novak Djokovic in straight sets on the iconic Centre Court. The atmosphere was electric. 

A peak audience of 17.29 million tuned in to witness the Scot claiming his first Wimbledon title and second career Grand Slam crown, having witnessed him agonisingly miss out against Roger Federer on the same stage 12 months earlier.

The final game of the match had everyone holding their breath, lasting 12 minutes and delivering pure drama as three Championship points were squandered before Centre Court erupted. Murray’s immediate reaction to the winning point was one of disbelief, coupled with unbridled joy as the realisation of what had just happened hit him.

In the period during which Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal dominated the Grand Slam stage, it was that much more challenging for Murray to establish himself amongst the sport’s most legendary figures. In the Briton’s first four Grand Slam finals, he came up against Federer at the height of his powers three times and Djokovic in the other. 


Swiss legend Federer’s first Grand Slam final came against Mark Phillippousis, while Nadal’s first major showpiece came against Mariano Puerta. There is no doubt Murray had a tougher pathway to Grand Slam glory. 

But unlike the year before, when his dream was shattered by fellow Wimbledon icon Federer, Murray returned to SW19 a different player. He had acquired the taste for major glory after winning the US Open the previous September, beating Djokovic in the tournament showpiece in five epic, gruelling sets.

While that in itself was an incredible accomplishment, the one major that Brits wanted to see Murray win was Wimbledon. So when the 36-year-old reflects back on the moment when Djokovic hit the net to deliver the home favourite his first crown at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Murray always states that he felt relief because of the pressure placed upon British players by the home crowd to be successful at Wimbledon.


That is why it was such a watershed moment for British tennis. Millions of people witnessed something that they had never seen before and never thought would happen. 

Former French Open champion and BBC presenter Sue Barker told the Lawn Tennis Association shortly after the great moment: “Tennis is in my heart and blood and I’d never thought I’d see that. At the [2012] Olympics, I walked away from the park thinking ‘I’m never again going to experience the joy I’ve just felt in the past three weeks.’ And then this happened. It was without a doubt the greatest sporting event I have witnessed.”

And many Brits will share that sentiment. It was one of those moments that everyone can distinctly remember where they were when it happened, and one that they will never forget.

Murray reclaimed the Wimbledon trophy three years later against Milos Raonic and while that was another outstanding moment in his career, nothing beats the first time, especially given that he was facing one of the greatest players of all time in Djokovic.

While the three deities of tennis have each claimed over 20 Grand Slam titles this century, it has been extremely difficult for any other players to make an impact, which further highlights Murray’s achievements during their dominance. He once said he would be happy to leave tennis behind with five major titles to his name, and he has technically matched that ambition when you add his two Olympic Gold medals to his three Grand Slam honours.

His tally could’ve been higher had he not been plagued with hip injuries which required treatment over the past several years. And yet he still comes back fighting, which is an inspiration to all, particularly with his latest triumphs at Surbiton and Nottingham. Despite many physical hurdles in his path, Murray remains confident in his abilities, and heading into this year’s Wimbledon championships he described himself as “one of the best grass court players in the world”.

On the evidence of the pulsating first three sets of his second round clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday night on Centre Court, he might just have a point.

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