Murray pegged back in Wimbledon final
16:01, 08 Jul 2012
Britain's Andy Murray made a fine start to his first Wimbledon final but Roger Federer had levelled the match at one set each when mid-afternoon rain arrived.
The Scot won his first ever set in a grand slam final by taking the opener 6-4, however Federer then turned the momentum by securing the only break of serve in the 12th game of the second set, taking it 7-5.
World number four Murray was bidding to become the first home winner of the men's singles since Fred Perry in 1936, and it really was the perfect start.
The names in the Royal Box showed just what a momentous day this was for British sport.
Prime Minister David Cameron and the Duchess of Cambridge were in the front row, while David Beckham and wife Victoria had travelled over from the United States.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and Mayor of London Boris Johnson were also in attendance and there was a huge roar as the players walked out onto court.
Murray led their head-to-head 8-7 going into the match but he had lost both grand slam final meetings in straight sets.
The Scot had started nervously on both those occasions, at the US Open in 2008 and the Australian Open two years ago, but today he was aggressive from the first point.
Instead it was Federer making the simple errors and it cost him as a forehand volley over the baseline handed Murray a break in the opening game.
There was plenty on the line for Federer, too, who was looking to equal Pete Sampras' tally of seven Wimbledon titles and return to world number one.
The 30-year-old quickly settled and took his chance to level at 2-2, drawing a backhand error from Murray.
The level was extremely high and Federer came through another tight game to move in front for the first time.
The Swiss was looking ominously good, his backhand working just as well as it had in his semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic.
He forced two break points in the eighth game but Murray held firm, finding the corner with a pinpoint volley on the second, and he got his rewards in the next game.
The fourth seed played a shot straight out of the book of his coach Ivan Lendl when he drilled a shot right at Federer's head, and Murray broke to lead 5-4 when his opponent netted a forehand.
The crowd were on their feet, and the home hope, the first British man in the final here since 1938, served it out confidently.
As well as his two grand slam final defeats by Federer, Murray was also beaten in straight sets by Djokovic in the Australian Open final last year.
But, as big as winning the first set was, there was still an awfully long way to go, and Federer came out firing at the start of the second with a hold to love.
The Swiss then engineered another break point on the Murray serve but, once again, the 25-year-old showed a cool head when it mattered most, forcing an error on the Federer backhand.
It might have been a big moment for Murray, and he continued to make life very difficult for Federer, creating break points in the fifth and ninth games but coming up just short.
The home crowd sensed their man was close to taking a real stranglehold on the match, but Federer is not a 16-time grand slam champion for nothing and, with Murray serving at 6-5 behind, he forced a set point.
The Swiss usually ups his game at such moments and he did so again, playing a perfect point, finishing it with a drop volley to take the set.
They reached 1-1 in the third set when a downpour forced the players to take shelter and the covers to come on.