Andy Murray withstood the pressure of history and the prowess of world number one Novak Djokovic to be crowned Wimbledon champion amid unforgettable scenes on Centre Court.
The 26-year-old from Dunblane ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles winner at the All England Club with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 triumph yesterday.
Murray played the better tennis during the match but had to fight back from 4-1 down in the second set and 4-2 behind in the third to triumph in three hours and nine minutes.
The final game was a fitting conclusion to a historic occasion, with Murray seeing three match points disappear and then having to save three break points before finally clinching it when Djokovic netted.
Murray raised his fists in celebration before embracing Djokovic then sinking to his knees with his forehead on the grass.
He had done it, and the satisfaction was overwhelming.
The Centre Court crowd and the thousands of people watching outside on the big screen had given him tremendous vocal support, and he high-fived fans in the front row before climbing up to his box.
There he embraced coach Ivan Lendl, his support team and girlfriend Kim Sears. Murray initially forgot his mum, Judy, who was sitting in the row behind, but went back to celebrate with her.
Returning to the court to lift the trophy, Murray’s face was a mixture of elation, exhaustion and disbelief.
His emotions were a total contrast to last year, when he had sobbed through his post-match speech after losing the final to Roger Federer.
That match proved a turning point, with the Scot going on to win Olympic gold by beating Federer on the same court four weeks later and then winning his first grand slam title at the US Open.
Murray had said after his semi-final win over Jerzy Janowicz that it would be tough to top those moments, but this was very special.
Murray said: “I also said that winning Wimbledon is the pinnacle of tennis. The last game almost increased that feeling. I worked so hard in that last game.
“Mentally, that last game will be the toughest game I’ll play in my career, ever.
“It was a different match to the US Open. Winning Wimbledon, I still can’t believe it. I can’t get my head around that.
“It was just an amazing finish to the match. I was glad I managed to see all of my team afterwards. They saw what it was like last year after the match. It was a completely different feeling this year.
“This one will take a little while to sink in, I’m sure.”
In his post-match speech on court, Murray made special mention of Lendl, who tried so hard to win Wimbledon during his own career but was twice a beaten finalist. “This one is especially for Ivan as well,” Murray said.