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July 8, 2013

Thanks to Murray, Britain's Wimbledon wait is over

(Continued)

LONDON — When the 210th, and last, point went Murray's way, the ball landing on Djokovic's side of the court, the new champion dropped his neon-red racket, yanked his white hat off and pumped both fists overhead, screaming, "Yes! Yes!" He kicked a ball into the stands. He fell to his knees, then covered his eyes with his hands, before walking over to high-five some fans. An earsplitting ovation rang out in the arena, soon giving rise to chats of "Andy! Andy! Andy!"

Across the grounds, thousands responded with cheers while watching on a giant videoboard at the picnic lawn known as Murray Mount. And, surely, millions more following along on TV across Britain stood up from their sofas. British Prime Minister David Cameron was in the Royal Box, a sign of the day's significance, and Buckingham Palace confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II sent Murray a private message afterward.

"The end of the match, that was incredibly loud, very noisy," Murray said. "It does make a difference. It really helps when the crowd's like that, the atmosphere is like that. Especially in a match as tough as that one, where it's extremely hot, brutal, long rallies, tough games — they help you get through it."

He climbed up to the guest box for hugs with several people, including his girlfriend and his coach, Ivan Lendl, an eight-time major champion as a player who never fared better than runner-up at Wimbledon. Murray then started to head back down to the court when he realized he'd forgotten to find his mother, British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray, and went back to hug her, too.

Speaking about Lendl, Murray said: "Ideally he would have won it himself, but I think this was the next best thing for him. ... He believed in me when a lot of people didn't. ... He's been very patient with me. I'm just happy I managed to do it for him."

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