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Magnificent Andy Murray puts on masterclass to claim second Wimbledon title

Andy blows away Canada's Raonic in straight sets

By Paul Newman

Published 11/07/2016

Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Supporters watch on from Murray Mound as Andy Murray of Great Britain and Milos Raonic of Canada are in action during the Men's Singles Final on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain ifts the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Couldridge-Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Hugh Grant watches on during the Men's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Couldridge-Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Couldridge-Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Couldridge-Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: (EDITORS NOTE: A graduated filter was used on this image) A general view of Centre Court prior to the Men's Singles Final between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Couldridge-Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: (EDITORS NOTE: A graduated filter was used on this image) A general view of Centre Court prior to the Men's Singles Final between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates victory during the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
2016 Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray during a press conference on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Florian Eisele/POOL/AELTC/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the AELTC. Still image use only - no moving images to emulate broadcast. No superimposing or removal of sponsor/ad logos. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Britain's Andy Murray poses with the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / John WALTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEJOHN WALTON/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Andy Murray gives a press conference after winning the men's singles final during the 2016 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / AELTC / Florian EISELE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEFLORIAN EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain speaks to the media following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain speaks to the media following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the trophy from the members balcony infront of supporters following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the trophy from the members balcony infront of supporters following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the trophy from the members balcony infront of supporters following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the trophy from the members balcony infront of supporters following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Spectators take pictures as Andy Murray kisses the trophy after beating Milos Raonic in the men's singles final on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the AELTC. Still image use only - no moving images to emulate broadcast. No superimposing or removal of sponsor/ad logos. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a backhand during the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates victory during the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Tim Henman arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Anastasia Potapova arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the trophy following victory in the Men's Singles Final against Milos Raonic of Canada on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Serena Williams arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Serena Williams arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JULY 10: Tony Robbins speaks before the DuJour Media's Jason Binn, Leslie Farrand and Fiona Murray hosted Screening and After-Party at Parrish Art Museum Celebrating Director Joe Berlinger's "Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru" on July 10, 2016 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for DuJour)
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JULY 10: Tony Robbins and CEO of DuJour Media Jason Binn speak before the DuJour Media's Jason Binn, Leslie Farrand and Fiona Murray hosted Screening and After-Party at Parrish Art Museum Celebrating Director Joe Berlinger's "Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru" on July 10, 2016 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for DuJour)
Serena Williams arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Andy Murray and his wife Kim arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Heather Watson arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Heather Watson arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Heather Watson arriving at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2016, at the Guildhall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 10, 2016. Andy Murray claimed his second Wimbledon title after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Screen grab taken from the Instagram account of Andy Murray which features a photo of him holding the Wimbledon trophy whilst having an ice bath after beating Milos Raonic in three sets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday July 11, 2016. Andy Murray vowed to enjoy his second Wimbledon triumph after being crowned the king of Centre Court once again. See PA story WIMBLEDON Men. Photo credit should read: andymurray/Instagram/Press Association Images NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray wins a point against Canada's Milos Raonic during the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating Canada's Milos Raonic during the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USELEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray reacts while playing Canada's Milos Raonic during the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Andrew COULDRIDGE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDREW COULDRIDGE/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating Canada's Milos Raonic after the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray poses with the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray poses with the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / Andrew COULDRIDGE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDREW COULDRIDGE/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray poses with the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray kisses the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USELEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating Canada's Milos Raonic after the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating Canada's Milos Raonic during the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USELEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray kisses the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Andrew COULDRIDGE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDREW COULDRIDGE/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Canada's Milos Raonic returns to Britain's Andy Murray during the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USELEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Britain's Andy Murray poses with the winner's trophy on the clubhouse balcony after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Victory for Andy Murray on the most famous stage in tennis was even sweeter second time around.

Three years ago Murray's overwhelming emotion after ending Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon was one of relief, but after winning the All England Club title for a second time here the Scot said that he was determined to enjoy the moment.

"I feel happier this time, more content," Murray said after beating Canada's Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 with a performance that was even more dominant than the scoreline might suggest. "Last time it was just pure relief, and I didn't really enjoy the moment as much, whereas I'm going to make sure I enjoy this one more."

He added: "The last time it was such a big thing for a British man to win Wimbledon. It had been so long, I was so relieved that I'd done that. It was a question I'd been asked so many times over the course of my career. It's something you start to think about and put more and more pressure on yourself to do it.

"I want to spend this time with my family, my closest friends and the people that I work with. That's who I want to be around right now. I'll make sure I spend a lot of time with them over the next couple of days."

From the moment Murray won his first match here for the loss of only nine games the world No 2 has looked like a man on a mission. He has played some of the best tennis of his life in the last fortnight and his professionalism and focus have been unwavering.

This was his 12th successive victory, preserving his unbeaten sequence since Ivan Lendl returned to coach him for a second time last month, but in truth has been on a roll for more than two months now. In his last five tournaments he has won the Rome Masters, Aegon Championships and Wimbledon and finished runner-up at the Madrid Masters and French Open.

The final had been billed as a showdown between one of the game's greatest servers and one of its best returners, but in the end it was no contest. Raonic hit thunderbolt serves at speeds of up to 147mph but could manage only eight aces. He had averaged 25 per match in the previous six rounds.

Murray, who made only 12 unforced errors, returned superbly and forced seven break points in the match. Although he converted only one of them, he dominated both tie-breaks. Murray was admirably aggressive from the back of the court and sound at the net, though for the most part it was Raonic who got forward, in the knowledge that his opponent's athleticism would make him the favourite to win any prolonged rallies.

However, time and again Murray beat Raonic either with thumping passing shots or with delightful changes of pace. When he could, Raonic hit his forehands with great power, but Murray gets as many balls back as anyone. On two occasions he even won points by getting back Raonic's smashes. Murray also served beautifully. He conceded just two break points in the match, neither of which Raonic could take.

Before play started Murray seemed as relaxed as if he was about to play a gentle mixed doubles at his local club.

While Raonic, the first Canadian man to play in a Grand Slam singles final, bounced up and down at one end of the court anxiously waiting to start, Murray took his time rising from his chair before strolling back into position, stopping to tie his shoelaces along the way.

If anyone was feeling the pressure of the occasion it was not the 29-year-old from Dunblane, despite the line-up watching from the Royal Box. As well as the Prime Minister and significant royal representation, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, there was a glittering array of former Wimbledon champions, including Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Roy Emerson, Manolo Santana and Chris Evert.

Three weeks after Murray beat Raonic in the final of the Aegon Championships, this was a much more emphatic victory. Raonic won the first set at Queen's Club, but on this occasion it was Murray who set the pace from the start, forcing his first break point in only the third game. Although Raonic saved it, the way that the Scot stepped in to attack the serve was a real statement of intent.

Four games later Raonic faced two more break points when he served at 3-3 and 15-40. On the first break point the Canadian came into the net behind a moderate approach and was fortunate to see Murray's backhand fly beyond the baseline. The second was an action replay until Murray's ferocious forehand forced his opponent into a volley error.

Having served out for the first set, Murray had a chance to draw blood at the start of the second but netted a forehand on break point in the opening game. At 4-4 the Scot had two more break points, but Raonic managed to cling on and eventually took the set to a tie-break.

The first tie-break looked sure to be Murray's from the moment Raonic netted a poor backhand on the opening point and then went 3-0 down. At 1-3 Murray won another point against serve with a forehand cross-court pass winner after returning a Raonic smash and at 6-3 he hit a second serve which the Canadian was unable to return.

When Raonic took a lengthy toilet break before the start of the third set you wondered whether the big man might have decided to call it a day, but the Canadian returned and, to his credit, continued to push hard.

At 2-2, after two hours and 10 minutes, Raonic forced his only break points of the match, but Murray held firm and saved both of them. At deuce he cracked a winning backhand pass down the line and a service winner completed the game, upon which a fired-up Murray roared in celebration, as if he knew that would be Raonic's last chance.

The set went to another tie-break, which Murray again dominated. On Raonic's first two service points the Scot thundered a cross-court backhand beyond the Canadian's reach and then forced him into a forehand error with a merciless attack.

Murray (below) went 6-1 up with a forehand winner after his ferocious return had forced Raonic to play the ball short and converted his second match point when the Canadian netted a backhand in the face of another brutal attack. After two hours and 48 minutes Murray looked to the skies in celebration and wept tears of joy as he sat in his chair before the presentation ceremony.

"I did the best I could," Raonic said afterwards. "I tried coming forward, putting pressure on him. He was playing much better than me off the baseline. He was more effective there."

Murray is due to play for Britain in their Davis Cup quarter-final away to Serbia in Belgrade beginning on Friday, but the Scot said he would have to consider overnight whether to play and would talk to Leon Smith, his captain, this morning.

"Physically I feel OK just now, which is kind of normal after a match like that," he said. "But when I wake up tomorrow morning, it will be a bit different. But I'm going to speak to my team about that today and tomorrow morning."

Belfast Telegraph

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