Andy Murray has won the men's singles at the Championships, Wimbledon for a second time.
The Scot defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 with one of the finest displays of returning Centre Court has ever seen, blunting thunderbolts from the Canadian's racket as he even managed to win a point against a 147 mph missile, the fastest serve of the tournament.
Murray went into his 11th Grand Slam final in the unusual position of being a clear favourite, having had to face Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic on the previous ten occasions. He could have been facing Federer again had not the Swiss succumbed in a dramatic five-set semi-final to Raonic, who was through to a first Grand Slam final at the age of 25.
It was billed as the battle of the biggest serve against the best return and however fast Raonic sent them down, the Scot responded. Having hit 137 aces in the tournament before the final, he was only able to produce another eight, with just a single delivery in the opening set making it past the Murray racket. By contrast, 74 per cent of Murray's first service returns landed in.
Despite Murray's brilliant returning, he only actually broke Raonic once, although this was enough to secure the first set. However, he had break points in five other games, with the Canadian showing great fortitude to save them. Moreover, the number six seed saw his serve dismantled in both tie breaks, as Murray twice moved into 5-0 leads to leave the outcome in no doubt.
Murray's own serve may have lacked the speed of his opponent, but he hardly lost a point when directing it against the Raonic forehand, and only faced break points in one game. With brilliant passes galore and just 12 unforced errors, it was not just about his returns; the Briton rose to the occasion with a performance of matchless brilliance.
While the second Wimbledon triumph inevitably lacked the historical impact of the first, or indeed the drama of his 2013 win over Djokovic, the clinical manner in which Murray secured his third Grand Slam suggests there will be many more triumphs to come. Speaking after the match, former British number one Tim Henman suggested becoming world number one is a "realistic" target.
Murray suggested likewise in the post-match press conference, commenting: "I still feel like my best tennis is ahead of me, that I have an opportunity to win more."
Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in November will have more reason to focus on the rivalry of the top two, as well as enjoying the likely appearance of Raonic, whose Wimbledon run suggests he is a probable Grand Slam winner of the future. Having also faced Murray in the final of the Aegon Championships last month, the rising star has shown clear pedigree on grass.
While Murray's masterclass grabbed the biggest headlines, there was plenty more for British tennis fans to celebrate. Heather Watson won the mixed doubles alongside Finn Henri Kontinen, Gordon Reid won the inaugural men's wheelchair singles title to add to the doubles crown he won with fellow Briton Alfie Hewitt, and Jordanne Whiley enjoyed a third women's wheelchair doubles triumph alongside Japan's Yui Kamiji.
By Sam Coates