Sun July 7, 2013
Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon Men's Championship
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Now for more on Wimbledon, let's go to the men's single final, which Andy Murray of Great Britain has won. He beat the top-seeded Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Murray is the first Brit to win the tournament in 77 years, with the last champion Fred Perry taking the title way back in 1936.
Sports Illustrated correspondent Jon Wertheim was watching it all from Center Court from the All England Club, and he joins me now.
So, Jon, was this a big upset?
JON WERTHEIM: I think historically it was a macro upset. I mean, it's been 77 years and this was always this tremendous pressure on British players here. The match today, it was number one versus number two. And this is sort of a new rivalry in tennis. So, Murray beating Djokovic not a huge upset, but a Brit winning Wimbledon, a huge upset.
MARTIN: As you mentioned, a lot of pressure on Andy Murray. I mean, he lost in the final last year against Roger Federer. Of course, this was the home crowd. A lot of pressure. He held up though, clearly. Were there moments when it looked like he might not?
WERTHEIM: There were. And, I mean, last year he reached the final and played Roger Federer and had this moment where afterwards he sort of cried and said I'm getting closer. And it turned out that was exactly - it was very prescient. That's exactly what happened. And today, there were a couple of rough moments. He needed four match points in the final game, but he beat Djokovic in straight sets. And the pressure he's under; no tennis player, I would argue no athlete in an individual sport is under this kind of pressure, where an entire nation just fixes its gaze on you for two weeks. And for him to have pulled this off is really something to witness.
MARTIN: Was it that Murray was exceptional in this moment, or was it partly that Djokovic just didn't bring it like he usually does?
WERTHEIM: Yeah, it was a little of both. I mean, this was not Djokovic's best day and he was probably tired from his previous match which went five sets. But, again, all credit to Murray. I mean, he played, you know, being opportunistic is part of succeeding in tennis - and sports, for that matter. And to his credit, again, under this incomprehensible pressure, he was the better player today.
MARTIN: Let's talk about that semi-final, though. Djokovic played on Friday. This was this epic match, right?
WERTHEIM: This was the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history. He beat Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in five sets. And Andy Murray probably owes Juan Martin del Potro an Argentine steak because I think Djokovic clearly was fatigued from that match, and that played some role in the result today. But, you know, again, the story here is Andy Murray and not Djokovic losing.
MARTIN: And you're there in the moments. What are people saying? Pretty excited?
WERTHEIM: It's bedlam. I mean, we're imagining the tabloid headlines tomorrow, but it's, you know, apart from Center Court just erupting, there are also probably twice as many fans on this hill in the complex. And this a moment, I mean, 77 years in the making. I think coming on the heels of the Olympics in London last summer, that contributes to this as well. And right now it's just - this place is absolutely electric.
MARTIN: Sports Illustrated correspondent Jon Wertheim. Thanks so much for joining us, Jon.
WERTHEIM: Oh, thanks, Rachel.
MARTIN: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.