It wasn’t supposed to seem so straightforward. An event Britain had waited 77 years for in 2013, has been repeated three years later. The greatest compliment that can be paid to Andy Murray is by recounting the minimum level of fuss with which he won the title. Only in the quarter-finals against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was Murray stretched beyond three sets – and even then he was never trailing his opponent. In the semi-final, Murray dismantled Tomas Berdych with consummate ease and in the final Murray was able to return so many of Milos Raonic’s serves that the rest of the Canadian’s game began to unravel.
In spite of his achievements, there are many people who continue to denigrate Murray and they will undoubtedly observe how the Briton was assisted by not having to face his greatest rivals. However, that misses the point. Raonic will in future be a multiple Grand Slam champion and he will learn a lot from the manner in which Murray played the crucial points in the tie-breaks that ultimately settled the match.
It will be interesting too to see how Novak Djokovic responds to his third round defeat to Sam Querrey. Murray will feel confident ahead of the Olympics and the U.S. Open, but now the Serbian world number one is freed from the pressures of chasing a calendar Grand Slam, he is likely to bounce back quickly. Overtaking him in the rankings may represent Murray’s toughest challenge yet.