- Roger Federer defeats Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to win record seventh Wimbledon singles title
- 20 million tuned in to watch the match on television with the All England Club full to capacity
- Duchess of Cambridge, her sister Pippa Middleton, Prime Minister David Cameron and David and Victoria Beckham among celebrities who attended the match
In the end, it was all too much for Andy Murray. After heroic defeat at the hands of perhaps the all-time greatest, there was nothing he – or his equally upset but proud girlfriend Kim Sears – could do to stop the tears.
Too emotional to speak immediately after defeat in the historic Wimbledon final, he threw his head back, stared at the sky and tried to compose himself for the traditional post-match BBC interview.
Up in the players’ box, his girlfriend Kim put her hand to her mouth as she and his mother Judy Murray started to well up too.
A watery-eyed Duchess of Cambridge looks on as an emotional Andy Murray loses at Wimbledon yesterday, while his girlfriend Kim Sears, right, bursts into sobs
A word in your ear: Andy Murray congratulates Roger Federer on his record seventh Wimbledon singles title
True champ: (left) Roger Federer celebrates the winning point and (right) he consoles Andy Murray with a hug
Bitter pill to swallow: The pain on Murray's face is plain to see as his dream of becoming the first British Wimbledon singles champion in 76 years slips away
Hard to handle: It was all too much for Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears, who wiped away tears from the stands following his defeat to Federer
Kim wipes away a tear with a tissue. Both Judy and Kim found it hard to hide their emotions after Andy Murray was defeated by Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final
Downcast: The faces of Andy Murray and his girlfriend Kim Sears say it all after his defeat
Choked: An emotional Andy Murray struggles to compose himself as interviewer and former player Sue Barker looks on
Cue rapturous applause. Cue mass tears too – not only from ‘Team Murray’ but all round Centre Court. Even the Duchess of Cambridge bit her wobbling lip in the royal box.
It was the moment the nation finally fell in love with Andy Murray. For while he lost the final, he won the public’s hearts.
So long regarded as slightly dour and moody, he let down his guard and showed a touching vulnerability as he paraded his hurt at losing for all too see.
But despite his devastation, he was magnanimous in defeat, paying tribute to everyone who supported him – and to his conqueror Roger Federer, for whom it was a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon men’s singles title and 17th Grand Slam title overall.
‘He played a great tournament and showed what fight he has left in him. So congratulations Roger, you deserve it,’ said the 25-year-old Scot.
Then turning to his support team, parents and girlfriend, he said: ‘I’m going to try not to look at them, otherwise I’ll cry again. Everyone in that corner who has supported me through this tournament, they did a great job so thank you.’ Then to the crowd: ‘Last of all, to you guys...’ More sobs.
‘Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon. How tough it is. But it’s not the people watching – they make it so much easier to play. The support has been incredible.’
By Royal disappointment: The Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton appear visibly upset as they applaud the finalists
Into the record books: Roger Federer lifts the coveted the trophy for a seventh time equaling the record set by Pete Sampras. It is his 17th Grand Slam title
Not bad for a 30-year-old: Federer beams with delight as he salutes the crowd from the balcony
Blowing kisses: Victorious Roger Federer plays to the crowd from the men's clubhouse balcony as he celebrates with the trophy
It had looked as if history was about to be rewritten when Murray, the first Briton to reach the final for 74 years, took the first set. But his opponent is not called the ‘Fed Express’ for nothing, and he roared back to take the next three sets in a three-hour, 24-minute drama watched by 15million on TV.
Despite the crowd’s cheers, Murray just could not find the reserves that would have made him the first British man to win the title since Fred Perry in 1936. Instead he had to content himself with equalling the feat of Bunny Austin, the last Briton to reach the final, in 1938.
Federer, who today regains his world number one ranking, won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
Later, away from the melting pot of the Centre Court, a slightly more composed Murray told reporters he had apologised to Federer for his emotional display before the trophy presentation. ‘I just said to him, sorry. I didn’t obviously want that to happen. You feel like you’re kind of attention seeking or something. It was not like that at all,’ he said. ‘He just laughed. He said, “This is meant to be the easy part, doing the speeches after the match. But sometimes it feels quite hard compared with playing a tennis match”.’
Murray said he was happy with his performance, adding: ‘I’d say that’s the best I’ve played in a Slam final.’ During the match Judy Murray was, as ever, the barometer for her son’s progress.
She leapt to her feet, clenched her fist, pumped the air and yelled ‘Come on!’ whenever her boy pulled an unplayable shot out of the bag; gurned with anguish at times of despair. As Federer cruised into control, her jaw jutted and she clenched her teeth.
When defeat came, she looked devastated – but was the first on her feet to applaud her son’s vanquisher.
As Murray’s father Willie Murray, who separated from Judy when Andy was 11, left the ground, he too looked like he had been crying.
At home in Stirlingshire, Murray’s grandmother Ellen Murray, 78, said: ‘It’s very disappointing. I didn’t watch the match – my husband told me the result. We are all very proud and there’s always next year.’
Daddy's girls: Roger Federer's wife Mirka and twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva applaud his victory from the family box
Disappointment: A dejected Andy Murray struggles to put on a brave face as he ponders his defeat and (right) collects his runners up trophy
Contrast: It's jubilation for Roger Federer (left) but misery for Andy Murray (right) as the 30-year-old Swiss seals victory and a record seventh Wimbledon title
Magnanimous: A dejected Andy Murray breaks down in tears as he congratulates Roger Federer on camera following the match
So near, so far: Die-hard fans on Murray Mound can't bear to watch as Federer eases to victory in the fourth set
Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson as Murray slips to defeat in the fourth and final set
Local hero: Residents in Dunblane, Scotland, Murray's hometown, struggle to contain their disappointmentas they watch the match on a big screen
Winning moment: Federer celebrates his emphatic victory after defeating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Crashing out: Murray takes a tumble during the third set as Federer begins to take control of the match
Fall guy: Murray grits his teeth as he takes a tumble in the third set
Title battle: Federer celebrates winning another game as a struggling Murray hurls is racket to the ground in frustration as he struggles to stay in the match
Andy Murray blasts a forehand back at six-times champion Roger Federer during the tense first set
Standing in the way: Six-times champion Roger Federer is a notoriously tough nut to crack
Holding court: Murray serves to Federer on his way to taking a tense first set by six games to four
Full stretch: Murray makes a tough backhand return in front of a celebrity studded Centre Court
Shelter from the storm: The covers are pulled over Centre Court as Murray walks off shortly after the start of the third set
Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears had looked remarkably calm as her long-term partner faced the biggest test of his career so far.
Mother's pride: Judy Murray watches her son from the family box
Every point was greeted by an explosion of cheers and cries of 'come on Andy', from a fiercely partisan crowd.
Hundreds of fans had queued for hours in the rain just for the chance of watching the match from 'Murray Mound' inside the grounds.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a £275 Joseph Vanessa dress which she previously donned on her and her husband's visit to Canada.
She teamed the dress with the £480 Joseph jacket which she previously wore the Nessie tweed jacket to the Epsom Derby.
Federer has now won 17 grand slam titles in a glittering career and has beaten Murray in all seven of their final matches.
However Murray has won eight of their 16 professional encounters.
Speaking earlier today a determined Murray had said that the Centre Court battle will mean nothing unless he takes the title.
He said: 'Knowing I am through to the final of Wimbledon fills me with so many emotions, but all of that will count for nothing unless I come away with the title,' he writes in his blog on the BBC Sport website.
'The only thing I can afford to focus on is my game and Roger Federer. He is a player I've beaten in the past, and I can do it again.
'The one thing I can guarantee is that I'll fight my absolute heart out.'
In his honest and open account, Murray continued: 'Federer is arguably the best player of all time. There are a few guys who have a decent claim, but I'd say Roger and Pete Sampras.
'Although it's my first Wimbledon final, I was in this position at the 2008 US Open and the Australian Open in 2010 and 2011.
'I know how it's going to feel and although there will be nerves, I know how to deal with them and use it as a positive.'
He said of those finals, losing to Novak Djokovic in Melbourne last year was the most painful, and one of the factors motivating Murray to lift the trophy this time round.
Royal duty: Kate Middleton and sister Pippa cheer on Andy Murray from the Royal Box
(left) Mirka Federer, wife of Switzerland's Roger Federer and (right) Tense: Andy Murray 's girlfriend Kim Sears watch the action from the Family Box
Victoria Beckham, dressed in one of her own creations, puts her arm on husband David's shoulder as the pressure is building up during the Wimbledon final between Murray and Roger Federer
Leading the way: David Cameron, accompanied by his mother Mary, rises to his feet to applaud a Murray winner but moments later he can't bear to watch as the tension mounts
(left): Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez and (right) Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and London Mayor Boris take their seats in the Royal Box
Rivalry: The Scot and the Swiss pose for a picture across the net before the match
'I moved away from my family at the age of 15, lived and trained in another country. I had to do that to get where I am today, challenging for the sport's biggest prizes.
'It hasn't been an easy journey and after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals on Friday I was quite emotional.'
The Archbishop of York had gone on Twitter to wish Murray luck and published a prayer for the tennis player on his website.
Dr John Sentamu wrote: 'I've also written a prayer for Andy Murray ahead of today's Wimbledon final. Come on Andy! You can do it!'
The Archbishop wrote the prayer on his blog. Under the title 'A Prayer for Andy Murray', he wrote: 'Loving God we are so filled with hope by the Wimbledon final today! Guide Andy Murray in the choices that come to him with every ball. Make us all the best that we can be, by your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of God our Father. Amen.'
Before the match began, Prime Minister David Cameron said singles tennis players are under huge pressure, but he believes Murray can handle it.
'I think he knows about pressure and he's had some incredibly pressured games,' he said. 'And the thing about singles tennis is that there's no-one else out there. It's just you.
'And the pressure on the individual single person is immense. In doubles you share it, in Government you have a Cabinet, you have a team. But he's going to be all alone out there in Centre Court.
'But he knows, I hope he knows, he's got the whole nation behind him and we're going to be roaring him on.'
Murray's semi-final defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was watched by pop princess Kylie Minogue, who sat in the Royal Box with boyfriend Andres Velencoso.
They were joined by Sir David Frost, as well as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.
In his clash with Ferrer, the 25-year-old was also watched by tennis couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, television sports presenter Des Lynam, veteran broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson and England football manager Roy Hodgson.
Go Andy: Spectators cheer on Murray Mound. Every point is being greeted by an explosion of cheers and cries of 'come on Andy', from a fiercely partisan crowd
Murray mania: Fans wave the Union flag as Murray wins another tense point
National pride: Scottish Murray fans watch the match at a pub in Dunblane, Scotland
Rain or shine: The torrential downpour at the start of the third set was not enough to put off the die-hard fans on Murray Mount
High spirits: Spectators sit under umbrellas on Murray Mound during the downpour which began shortly into the third set
Braving the rain: Tennis fans gather on 'Murray Mount'. Around 20million people are expected to tune in to watch the final on television with the All England Club expected to be full to capacity
All smiles: Demand for tickets soared over the weekend, and bookmakers William Hill had given Murray odds of 13/8 to lift the title, and 7/2 to win the first set then the match
'For me, also playing in front of someone like Agassi as well and Steffi Graf. Rod Laver was there, too. You know, it was an unbelievable privilege to play in front of those people.'
Murray has paid tribute to the support of his family, saying he hopes they can witness him 'go one better' in today's match.
Andy Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears arrives at Centre court
'It's a lot harder for me, that's for sure,' he said.
As he takes on Federer he will be hoping to echo the performance of compatriot Jonny Marray, who last night became the first British man to win the Wimbledon men's doubles tournament in the same amount of time - 76 years - after his victory with partner Freddie Nielsen.
The All England Club was hit by rain today, but fans refused to be put off by the damp weather.
Sadie Smith and Nigel Halliday, both 60, wearing Scottish colours with the Saltire painted on their faces, travelled to SW19 from Livingstone in Scotland to watch the final on Murray Mount.
Mr Halliday said: 'We bought tickets back in February, we had no idea when we came we'd be watching Andy play.
'It's our first time at Wimbledon and we get to see this, it's amazing. Of course he'll win, it's his turn, it's his time.
'When Virginia Wade won it was the Jubilee and now it's the Jubilee again, it must be lucky.'
John and Margaret Nisbet, 70 and 71, from Ayr, Scotland, are staunch Murray fans. They have visited for several years but never seen such a momentous occasion.
Mr Nisbet said: 'My wife came three years ago and said I should come, I wasn't that bothered but she said Andy had taken up the flag for the nation, not just for Scotland, but for Great Britain, so I thought yes, I should come.
'I loved it last year so we agreed we'd come back and here we are, watching him make history.
'My wife is a massive fan, I get banished sometimes to the bedroom to watch TV when Andy is playing.'
Mrs Nisbet added: 'I'm such a big fan. I don't care if I get wet as long as I can watch him play. We'll be on Murray Mount cheering him on.'
The Saltire was flying at Downing Street today in recognition of the Scot's history-making performance.
Jonny Marray, fresh from victory, last night voiced his own support for Murray, saying: 'Obviously everyone's hoping for him to win.
'He's come so close in a lot of Grand Slams so many times before. He's working hard and he's right at the top of his game. I don't see why he can't.'
Meanwhile Murray's mother Judy revealed she had received a message from Mr Cameron, writing on Twitter: 'Its not every day u get an email from the Prime Minister. Just saying.'
She was presented with a good luck gift for her son as she lunched near his house in Surrey, tweeting a picture of a silver salt and pepper condiment set shaped as a tennis ball, presented to her by jewellers Gordon Marks.
The Scot's mother is said to have revealed to a barman at the pub that Murray was 'feeling good going into the match'.
His father Will said in an interview with The People: 'He will know he will have to do his very best.
'When he looks across the net he will see Roger Federer who has won the title six times.
'So Andy will have to be ready.'
He also told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I’ll be like a swan. I’ll appear calm on top, but underneath my legs will be going like the clappers.
‘Emotion takes over when I see Andy walk out to play really big matches. I well up.’
Brollies out: Hundreds of fans shelter from the rain on Murray Mount. Fortunately the sun appeared minutes before the players were due to arrive on court
Support: Fans with the Scottish flag painted on their faces gather on 'Murray Mount' inside the All England Club before the start of the match
Speaking earlier today a determined Murray claimed the Centre Court battle would mean nothing unless he takes the title
As well as ensuring his place in our pantheon of sporting greats, victory would also provide an unexpected feelgood boost, a perfect herald to the Olympics.
Yet the 25-year-old Scot’s opponent, six-time champion Roger Federer, the world’s greatest ever player, with a record 16 Grand Slam victories, starts the match as 8/15 favourite. Murray is 6/4.
The famous Kipling lines above the players’ entrance are from If and read: ‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same.’
Best of British: Scotland's national flag flies alongside the Union flag at Downing Street, in support of Andy Murray
Fans brave the rain to queue at Wimbledon this morning ahead of the men's final
Turnout: The All England Club was hit by rain today, but fans refused to be put off by the damp weather
A legion of fans enjoy the action during the first set on 'Murray Mount'
Grand final: The 25-year-old Scot was the first British man to reach the finals since 1938
Rooting for Murray: Olympic rowing multi-gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave watches the match from the Royal Box
Demand for tickets soared over the weekend, and bookmakers William Hill have given Murray odds of 13/8 to lift the title, and 7/2 to win the first set then the match.
And William Hill is offering Federer at 8/15 to pick up the trophy in what will be his eighth Wimbledon final.
Murray has admitted he will be the underdog today, saying: 'It's a great challenge, one where I'm probably not expected to win the match, but one that, if I play well, I'm capable of winning.'
He said he needs to find the 'perfect' performance against Federer, who is looking to equal Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon titles.
It will be the third time Murray and Federer have met in the finals of Grand Slams, with the Swiss triumphing at the US Open in 2008 and at Melbourne in 2010, both times in straight sets.
The wait goes on: Murray had aimed to become the first British Wimbledon Singles Champion since Fred Perry seen here in action on the first day at Wimbledon in 1936