Tennis throwback: Andy Murray becomes two-time Wimbledon champion in 2016

With exactly five years having passed to the day, let us look back at how Andy Murray sealed his third Grand Slam win - and second Wimbledon title.

Andy Murray celebrates winning the men's singles title at Wimbledon 2016. (Image: Twitter)

It is fair to say that Wimbledon is the favourite Grand Slam of Andy Murray. Not only has he won it twice, it is also the ‘home’ Grand Slam of the British star. The second of his triumphs was, however, the more noteworthy of the two. That is because it came in a year that was arguably his peak as a tennis player. Murray in 2016 finally showed the potential everyone knew he had, even if he didn’t win as many Grand Slams as he probably could or should have. Nevertheless, the 2016 Wimbledon saw Murray lift his home Slam for the second time.

With exactly five years having passed to the day, let us look back at how Andy Murray sealed his third Grand Slam win – and second Wimbledon title.

The background

2016 was a good year for Andy Murray. The Scot made it to the finals of the first two Grand Slams of the year, the Australian Open and French Open. However, in both cases he was vanquished in the final by Novak Djokovic.

Yet the fact he made both finals was itself noteworthy. For years, Murray was seen as the fourth best in an era that featured three all-time greats – Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Now, it seemed like his moment of greatness was coming near. And when Djokovic was knocked out of the tournament in the third round, he had perhaps his best chance yet of adding to his Slam wins.

With Nadal not in the tournament, Murray’s only realistic threat at that point was Federer. Yet the Swiss fell in the semi-final against Milos Raonic in an epic five-setter.

Murray, for his part, played some excellent tennis. His first four victories in the tournament were all in straight sets. He did finally drop a set in the quarterfinals against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

However, even the match going the distance wasn’t enough to deter Murray. He overcame the Frenchman, then saw off Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

Thus, the stage was set for an epic final.

Andy Murray reigns supreme

The final was a relatively straightforward one for Murray, as it again was done and dusted in straight sets. However, while he won the first set 6-4, both of the subsequent sets went to tiebreaks.

But Murray had momentum in his favour and easily won both tie-breaks. After the match ended, he was clearly emotional and said he relished this win.

“I’m proud to have my hands on the trophy again,” said Murray. “This is the most important tournament for me every year.”

“I’ve had some great moments here, but also some tough losses. The win feels extra special because of the tough losses.”

Indeed, this would go down as his greatest Wimbledon moment. He was the easy favourite in the latter parts of the tournament but brilliantly ignored outside noise and rose to the occasion.

The specialty of his win was summed up by 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. “It was almost a faultless tournament from Andy. It was so special. He perhaps had one blip by losing a set against Tsonga. How often can you say that?”

Indeed, form and momentum were truly on his side at that point. In the aftermath of Wimbledon he won the tennis men’s singles gold at the Rio Olympics too.

He thus became the first player, male or female, to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in single’s tennis. Not only that, but by courtesy of winning the ATP World Tour finals against Djokovic of all people, he was crowned world number one for the first time.

Subsequent years have seen the Scot struggle with injuries and thus not be in title winning contention. But he can and should forever fondly look back at the year 2016.

Sportslumo Desk

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