The Aegon Championships not only boasted two great grass court players competing in the 2016 final, but the rivalry between John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl would re-emerge – this time as coaches.
Murray and Raonic began the match trading service holds as they both held serve six times each and subsequently headed into a first set tiebreak. In that tiebreak, Raonic seized his opportunity, displaying his vast improvement in the forecourt and putting away some important volleys that ultimately decided the first set – the Canadian was in the ascendancy.
The big-serving Canadian was in a brilliant position, breaking Murray’s serve again and thus leading a set and a break on the World No.2. But as Murray has displayed in many occasions before against Gilles Simon in the Davis Cup last year and against Jarkko Nieminen in the second round of Roland Garros 2012 – you just do not know when to count Murray out of a competitive match.
Raonic was convinced he had earned a 4-1 lead, but the luxury of hawk-eye completely turned the match on it’s head and Murray truly exploited that advantage. Murray finally found the winning formula to break the big serve of the Canadian and the second set followed, taking it 6-4.
Raonic suddenly started to become slightly agitated as Murray became the first player to break his impressive serve over the course of the week and from then on, there was only one winner. One of the great assets to Murray’s return game is that he can sneak his way into service games and slowly starts reading the serves of even the best servers on the tour – and that is exactly what he did against Raonic in Sunday’s final.
Murray Makes History
The crowd erupted, acknowledging that Murray had created history by becoming the first player to win the Aegon Championships five times, overtaking the likes of McEnroe and Roy Emerson, who had both won the title on four occasions.
Murray now strolls into Wimbledon with a lot of confidence, a coach that can support him in the difficult moments at Grand Slam level and much needed competitive matches on the grass.
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