July 8, 2013 at 9:13 AM ET
After Andy Murray ended a 77-year drought of British male champions at Wimbledon on Sunday, he went up in the players’ box to hug friends and family and nearly forgot the most important person of all.
Just before he got down to go back on the court, Murray scrambled back up to give a big hug to his mom, Judy, a former top tennis player in her own right.
“Obviously when I’m playing the match I’ve got no idea where everyone is, but yeah, I pretty much left her out,’’ Murray said on TODAY Monday. "I heard her screaming at me to come back when I was on my way down, so I saw her in the end.”
The 26-year-old from Scotland sent the United Kingdom into delirium when he beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 on his home turf to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. His victory came one year after he lost in the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer while dealing with the pressure of a nation’s hopes on his back.
Murray erased all of that disappointment on Sunday to add a Wimbledon title to the gold medal he won at the London Olympics in 2012 on the court at Wimbledon.
“It was amazing,’’ he said. “I didn’t want to let go of (the trophy). It’s been a lot of years since any Brits have won there, and I’ve been reminded of that most days of my life for the last five or six years, so to finally get to do it was great. I just hope it’s not that long again.”
Murray attended the customary Wimbledon Champions Dinner on Sunday night, which he said ran until 2 a.m. He did not sleep next to the trophy, but that may be on the agenda for Monday.
“Maybe the trophy will get lucky tonight,’’ he joked.
While Murray was in command for the majority of the match on Sunday, Djokovic made him earn it when it came time to close out the victory. With nearly 15,000 fans roaring at Centre Court and thousands of others watching on a big screen television on the grounds of the All England Club, Murray finally vanquished Djokovic to even their record at 2-2 in Grand Slam finals match-ups.
“I was actually OK before I went to serve for the match and then I went up 40-love, so I was feeling pretty calm and confident with three serves to come that I would be able to close it out,’’ Murray said. “Then I just started panicking basically when he got back into it and had break points. It was a crazy last game.”
The next Grand Slam tournament on the agenda for Murray is the U.S. Open in New York from Aug. 26-Sept. 9. Murray is the defending champion, having defeated Djokovic in last year’s final to win his first championship in a Grand Slam tournament.
“I feel good just now obviously with what happened yesterday, but a couple of months is a long time in sports,’’ he said. “I will try to get myself ready for that. It will be my first time ever defending a Grand Slam title so it’s a new experience for me, and I look forward to it.”