Andy Murray says he can take his career to the next level after his Wimbledon win
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JULY 8, 2013) (REUTERS) - Andy Murray is getting quite a taste for grand slam titles and believes crushing Novak Djokovic to end Britain's interminable wait for a men's champion at Wimbledon will be a springboard to take his career to the next level.
The 26-year-old became a national hero on Sunday (July 7) when a 6-4 7-5 6-4 victory on a baking Centre Court meant the nation could finally stop talking about Fred Perry who won his third Wimbledon title in 1936.
Murray's stunning performance was hailed by everyone from politicians, movie stars and fellow sportsmen, as well as the millions who watched his landmark victory, but the Scot will not be milking the plaudits for long.
After attending the Wimbledon ball on Sunday he was planning to celebrate with his sizeable entourage, including coach Ivan Lendl on Monday, then, after a week of rest and relaxation it will be back to the grind.
"I know what it feels like to lose in the finals, in a Wimbledon final and I know what it is like to win and that's a lot better and its worth putting in the hard work for," Murraytold Reuters on Monday at the All England Club.
"I didn't know last year that it was worth it because I had never won a grand slam before but after the U.S. Open last year, you know, you realise the hours you put in the training, preparing and working on the practice court it's all worth it, so I hope that this is a springboard for me and I will use it to my advantage."
Murray, who now holds two of the grand slams and the Olympic gold, was already a member of the exclusive All England Club but when he walked in on Monday after "a few hours sleep" he did so with Wimbledon champion as a new title.
It is quite an upgrade and the realisation of what he achieved the on a momentous Sunday for British sport was slowly sinking in, but only after watching a few TV replays.
"The last game was something that stands out but I had to watch it a few times to remember actually what happened because when I came off the court I had no recollection of that game, none of the points in it at all," a relaxed Murray said.
"It was just a crazy way to finish the game and I don't think it would have happened for me any other way. For everyone watching it needed to be like that to make it more special."
Murray had the whole country on tenterhooks as Djokovic saved three championship points in a row before Murray somehow kept his nerve to engineer a fourth which he converted to spark wild celebrations.
Last year's Olympic gold was memorable but Murray said winning Wimbledon was the pinnacle.
"I think it's number one, it's different to the Olympics, I think, you know, winning Olympic gold within sport is a huge thing, within tennis winning Wimbledon is the pinnacle and I don't think I will ever top that."
Murray beat Djokovic in the Olympic semi-finals and said that result had fuelled his belief that he could be the Serbian world number one again on the biggest day of his career.
"I spoke the night before about tactics and we watched my match against Novak in the Olympics semi-final from last year," Murray, whose decision to hire Lendl as coach 18 months ago has proved an inspired one.
From a player with all the shots to win majors, Lendl has tweaked Murray's mind to that of a champion too.
"We spoke again the morning of the match and he basically just said to me to go out there and work for every single point, that's your court, your fans are going to be behind you, just bring the title home and I managed to do it."
With Murray and Djokovic both aged 26 and at the peak of their powers their rivalry looks set to dominate men's tennis, especially with Roger Federer showing signs of a slow decline and doubts over the durability of Rafa Nadal's knees.
"I've know him since I was 12 and when we finish playing I'm sure we'll get on really well with each other. Right now it's hard to be best of friends as we are competing in these matches, so tough physically and mentally," Murray said.
"The matches we play are just brutal and physically so challenging. It's nice in some ways that we've know each other since we were kids and our parents have seen us kind of grow up together as well so I am sure for them it's nice but right now it is just hard playing against him because he is such a good player and its hard to be too close to each other."