Andy Murray became the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles championship since 1936. He defeated the gallant Serb Novak Djokovic under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NYC, in a five-set match that began five hours earlier in crisp daylight. The extraordinary quality of the play was matched only by the exceptional determination and will of the players. At one point the men had played 306 points, with each having won 153. More than 700,000 spectators attended the two-week event, while tens of millions watched on TV. (What’s that worth? The US Open victory was the 25-year-old Murray’s 370th win as a professional, a total for which he has been paid almost $25 million–about $67,000 per win–contributed mostly by sponsoring financial institutions.)
Murray’s hard-won two-set lead was erased when Djokovic took sets three and four. But the new champion remained steady under the glare and pressure. There are, of course, different kinds of pressure. When Andy Murray was nine years old, a middle-aged gunman entered his school and shot sixteen children and an adult before killing himself. Two years later Murray played his first match against Djokovic, whose own homeland was being eviscerated by war and genocide: both boys were both eleven.