History was made on Sunday when Andy Murray ended Britain’s agonising 77-year wait for a men’s Wimbledon champion following a brutal, and nerve shredding, three -set victory over World No.1 and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic. The stunning triumph, which came a day after outsider Marion Bartoli stormed to victory against Sabine Lisicki in the women’s Final, was the perfect end to an enthralling 2013 Championships that will forever live in the memory.
Below we pick out the key talking points from a memorable two weeks at the famous All England Club.
Andy Murray makes history
After becoming the first Brit since Fred Perry back in 1936 to win Wimbledon the Scottish sensation is already being recommended for a knighthood, with Prime Minister David Cameron among those in support. However, for the time being Murray will be basking in the glory of his famous win. On a sun drenched Centre Court the 26-year-old clinched the trophy on his fourth championship point following a torturous final game, where he had blown a 40-0 lead, before saving two break points, and then finally securing the victory that sent the whole of Britain into raptures.
Marion Bartoli stuns Lisicki
No one could have predicted this. The 28-year-old outsider won her first Grand Slam, at a record 47th attempt, in emphatic fashion by thrashing Sabine Lisicki who completely crumbled in what was supposed to be her defining moment. What was even more remarkable was that Bartoli didn’t even drop a set, becoming only the sixth women in the Open Era to achieve this feat.
The Frenchwoman may have been fortunate due to the fact that she didn’t face a single player ranked below her, but that takes nothing away from her astonishing victory, which came six years after her defeat to Venus Williams in the 2007 Final. During the fortnight the 15th seed dazzled with her unique double handed style and unusual routines in between points, along with her constant fist pumping and passionate approach. Bartoli can now be found at a tempting 50/1 to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Plethora of shocks
Have there ever seen so many shocks at a Grand Slam? Simply put, no. The men’s game saw a shifting of the gear so to speak as Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer suffered surprise early exits, while rivals Murray and Djokovic remained cool and calm en route to the final. Nadal arrived at SW19 fresh of his record-breaking success at the French Open but limped out in the opening round. Defending champion Federer bowed out a day later, while Jo Wilfred Tsonga made an early departure due to knee and wrist injuries.
Meanwhile over on the women’s side of the draw the 2004 champion Maria Sharapova was stunned in the second round by World No. 131 Michelle Larcher de Brito, while injury forced her rival Victoria Azarenka to pull out after her first round win. However, the biggest shock came in the last-16 when the overwhelming favourite and five-time champion Serena Williams was dumped out by Lisicki.
Bright future for Laura Robson
Finally women’s tennis had something to smile about as the courageous Laura Robson became the first Brit to make it through to reach the fourth round of a Slam since Sam Smith in 1998. The talented 19-year-old, who shot to fame in 2008 after winning the Wimbledon Juniors at just 14, thrilled the crowds with her immense power and lethal serve. Her pulsating performances at the All England Club have in turn shot her up to 27 in the world as she becomes the first female Brit to break the top 30 since Jo Durie in 1987.
Inspire a generation?
The exploits of Murray and Robson will hopefully inspire a new generation of youngsters to pick up their rackets and get involved in tennis in the UK. Both players lifted the spirits of the whole country and will hopefully pave the wave for stars of the future. The fact that Murray won Wimbledon in the Golden Era of men’s tennis makes his achievement even more remarkable. He has now reached four consecutive Grand Slam Finals (winning two) and seven overall. Only time will tell if his win can kick-start a new legacy but, what is for sure is that his success will go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever on our shores.