In addition to his relentless defense, his unyielding will to win and the support of a very sympathetic crowd, Andy Murray had one other slight advantage over Novak Djokovic in Monday's U.S. Open final.
Only Murray had James Bond on his side.
Actor Sean Connery watched from courtside, clapping, yelling and even fist-pumping each time his fellow Scotsman won a crucial point. Murray rewarded Connery by eking out a five-set win in nearly five hours, his long-awaited first grand slam victory after four previous losses in the final of a major and six in the semifinals.
Connery and the rest of the pro-Murray crowd appeared destined for heartbreak when Djokovic fought his way out of a two-set hole by outplaying the frustrated Scotsman in the third and fourth sets. Murray regained his composure in the fifth set, however, breaking Djokovic three times in the set for a 6-2 win.
[ Video: Murray reflects on first Grand Slam ]
The public first learned of Connery's affinity for Murray when the 82-year-old actor watched Saturday's U.S. Open semifinals from Murray's box. Connery and Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson then crashed Murray's press conference Saturday night with Murray's mom Judy in tow, leading to this memorable exchange.
Murray [to his mom]: "You smell of wine"
Judy [nodding at Ferguson]: "He made me have wine. He's just been telling me that Scotland invented the world."
Sir Alex replied: "Hands up, I did."
Meeting Ferguson and Connery was a thrill for Murray, as was seeing the two Scotsmen cheering him on in the semifinal and final.
"I'm a huge James Bond fan and I love football as well," Murray said Saturday. "Sir Alex is one of the most successful managers of all time and both of them are from Scotland, so to have them both here was very nice."
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