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It was Murray’s decisive, straight-sets victory over Federer in the Olympic final in August on Centre Court at Wimbledon — less than a month after the Wimbledon defeat — that lifted his self-belief and provided the platform for his Grand Slam success.
"Ever since he won the Olympics, he has walked around with a lot more confidence," said Murray’s former coach, Leon Smith. "After winning yesterday, it’s going to do even more so now. For a great summer of British tennis, this is the icing on the cake."
Former British player Greg Rusedski said Murray can only go higher.
"Having won this, he can go on to win many majors and maybe end the year as ... No. 1," he said.
Murray is ranked No. 4 but is close behind No. 3 Rafael Nadal. Djokovic is No. 1 in this week’s rankings, with Federer dropping to No. 2.
Also crucial to Murray’s success has been the influence of Lendl, the no-nonsense Czech-born coach who won two French Opens, two Australian Opens and three U.S. Opens.
"So much confidence has come from Andy’s Olympics win and Lendl has added a great presence," said former British player Roger Taylor, a four-time Grand Slam semifinalist. "There is such a similarity (between the two). It will have given Andy more belief to see Ivan go on to win many Grand Slams and it took him five. He (Lendl) has made a great difference."
For years, Murray has been considered just a rung below the "Big Three" of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, who had shared 29 of the previous 30 major titles. Now he’s joined the club and Britain is rejoicing.
"We are all delighted for Andy," Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook said. "Winning your first Grand Slam has to be a very special moment in a player’s career and it was a fantastic performance in an epic final to cap a truly memorable summer of tennis for him personally and for British tennis."
Even more special would be lifting the Wimbledon trophy. In July, Murray became the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final in 74 years.
The pursuit of Fred Perry is not quite over.
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