Andy Murray vowed to enjoy his second Wimbledon triumph after being crowned the king of Centre Court once again.
The 29-year-old Scot ended a 77-year wait for a home men’s singles champion three years ago, finally answering the question of whether he could lift tennis’s most prestigious trophy.
His 6-4 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/2) victory over first-time finalist Milos Raonic yesterday had a very different feel.
There was not the same tension as there had been when he beat Novak Djokovic in 2013, surviving that tortuous last game.
This time he was sublime virtually from start to finish, repelling Raonic’s huge serve with apparent ease and passing him time and again.
At the moment of victory there were tears from Murray, and even from his famously steely coach Ivan Lendl, but there was also joy rather than the sheer relief he had felt in 2013.
“It is different,” said the Scot. “I feel happier this time. I feel more content. I feel like this was for myself more than anything, and my team as well. We’ve all worked really hard to help get me in this position.
“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 than the others.
“I’m just really proud that I managed to do it again after a lot of tough losses in the latter stages of the slams over the last couple of years.
“I’m also aware of how difficult these competitions are to win once. To do it twice here, an event where there is a lot of pressure on me to perform well, I’m very proud with how I’ve handled that over the years.”
It would be tough to argue that Murray did not deserve a third grand slam trophy, adding a second Wimbledon to the US Open title he won in 2012.
This was the world No 2’s 11th slam final, and the first time he has not had to face either Djokovic or Roger Federer.
This put him in the unusual position of being favourite, which he believed did help him at key moments.
He said: “I was still as nervous as I was before the other grand slam finals. But I stuck to my game plan very well.
“I think when I was out there at the tight moments, in the tie-breaks and stuff, knowing I’d been in that position before, knowing how maybe he would have felt at those moments, being his first grand slam final, I do think that helped me a little bit.”
It was Murray’s third successive slam final after losses to Djokovic at the Australian and French Opens, but he never allowed the defeats to become too much of a negative.
“I don’t mind failing,” he said. “Failing’s okay, providing that you’ve given your best and put everything into it.
“Obviously a lot of questions would get asked of me after those losses. But I put myself in a position all of the time in these events to win them.”
Murray has been in superb form over the last three months, reaching the final of his last five events and winning three of them.
Lendl has been back in Murray’s camp for the last two, overseeing titles at Queen’s Club and now Wimbledon.
Murray was happy to accept it was no coincidence he was back winning slam titles in the first tournament under Lendl, who guided him to his other two trophies and Olympic gold before they parted ways in 2014.
“I do think he’s a leader,” said Murray.
“I just like that he’s very honest with me and the team. He says exactly what he thinks. I don’t always like hearing it, but it is often what I need to hear.”
This is Murray’s third slam with Lendl but first as a father. Five-month-old Sophia is too young to appreciate her father’s achievements right now, but may have played a part in them.
“It has given me a little bit of extra motivation, to work hard, train hard, and do all of the right things to give myself a chance to win these events,” he said. “I feel more motivated than ever just now.”
Once Murray has finished enjoying this title he will no doubt turn his focus to the next big challenges to come, for if there is one thing that marks out the leaders of this exceptional tennis era it is an insatiable desire to win.
The Scot said he had not yet made up his mind whether to play in Great Britain’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Serbia this week, although the inference was he would not.
Next month he will attempt to defend successfully his Olympic title and two weeks after that the final grand slam of the season starts in New York.
Raonic, who made a major breakthrough by defeating Federer in the semi-finals, praised Murray for his performance.
“He definitely deserved to win this tournament,” said the 25-year-old. “I think it’s phenomenal for him to back up his win from three years ago.
“I’m going to work on everything. I’m not going to leave any stone unturned. I’m going to try to get myself back in this position, try to be better in this position.”