Andy Murray has vowed to use the Wimbledon title as motivation to try to add to his haul of Grand Slam trophies.
The 26-year-old followed up last summer’s US Open triumph by ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men’s singles champion on Sunday.
Murray defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4 on Centre Court and having battled so hard to win a first Grand Slam title, Murray has now achieved two of his biggest goals in less than 12 months as well as winning Olympic gold.
And Murray is confident winning the most prestigious trophy in tennis will make him more, not less hungry, with the defence of his US Open title the next big thing on the agenda.
He said: “I hope I don’t lose hunger. I should be able to use this for motivation.
“I know what it’s like losing in a Wimbledon final and I know what it’s like winning one, and it’s a lot better winning. The hard work is worth it.
“I just need to make sure I don’t get sidetracked by anything after the next few days. Yes enjoy it and celebrate, then go away, rest up and get ready for the US Open.
“I’ve never had to defend a Grand Slam before, that will be a new experience for me, and I look forward to that.”
Former Manchester United manager Ferguson was in Murray’s player box for his US Open triumph and watched from the Royal Box when the world number two fought back from two sets down in the quarter-finals against Fernando Verdasco here.
Murray chatted with Ferguson for 15 minutes afterwards and described advice from someone who has won so much as “gold dust”.
Ferguson was unable to be at Wimbledon on Sunday because he is on holiday, and Murray said: “I got a message from him yesterday and this morning.”
Murray’s targets also include taking Djokovic’s world number one spot, but he remains almost 3,000 points behind.
Given Murray cannot gain any points at the US Open, it will be difficult for the Scot to reach the top this year.
He is slightly bemused he is not closer, saying: “It’s a tough one for me because right now I’ve won two slams and been in the final of a third one and I hold the Olympic gold, and I’m nowhere near being number one.
“I don’t know exactly why that is. Maybe I need to be more consistent in the other events.
“Missing the French Open obviously didn’t help that but I would rather not get to number one and win more Grand Slams than never win another Grand Slam and get to number one.”
Djokovic is deservedly world number one – Murray could well challenge for that honour next season – but matches between them are 50/50 and the Scot’s consistency has been incredible.
He has reached the final at his last four Grand Slams, winning two.
Keeping that record up will be extremely tough but there is no reason to doubt it is possible, and successfully defending his US Open title will really appeal to Murray.
Djokovic is likely to be his major rival again, with Roger Federer finally looking his age and Rafael Nadal’s willingness to push his dodgy knees on hard courts suspect.
The likes of Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych are ever-present dangers, while 6ft 8in Jerzy Janowicz, who relished the big occasion when he met Murray in the semi-finals on Friday, has leapt into first place among the next generation. But there is nothing there to scare Murray.
A first Australian Open title after three final defeats, most recently to Djokovic in January, would be very satisfying, and it would be a surprise if he does not win Wimbledon again given his prowess on grass.
The glaring weakness has been Murray’s performances on clay, and that is something he will definitely want to work on.
He has never made the final of a clay tournament and is a long way behind Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and David Ferrer on the surface.
It is tough to see Murray challenging for the French Open title but, provided his back holds up, his game is not unsuited to clay.
Stranger things have happened – like Marion Bartoli winning Wimbledon.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved