Andy Murray's semi-final Australian Open loss to Novak Djokovic in January was not the customary failure British tennis is usually associated with. It has retrospectively had, as some suspected at the time, the reverse effect. Djokovic's 6-3 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 7-5 defeat of Murray in four hours 50 minutes was the harbinger for a glorious year that while bearing one painful and tearful low, was overawed by two glorious months in succession.

Skipping past his French Open quarter-final defeat to David Ferrer on 6 June, the following month Murray became the first Briton to reach the men's singles final at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938. He was also bidding to become the first British winner of the Championships since Fred Perry beat Gottfried von Cramm in 1936. Fifteen prime ministers had occupied office at 10 Downing Street in the 76 years that had elapsed and the fascination at Murray's milestone was endemic nationwide. Accustomed to Tim Henman punching above his weight only to disappoint at the final four stage four times, the frustration was equalled by expectation because Murray warranted the hype. It was his fourth Grand Slam final.

andy murray

Final frustration at Wimbledon

But the romanticists were to be left disappointed by the immaculate Roger Federer, who won in four (that number again) sets after Murray's tour de force opener. The Centre Court had never been so subdued when a winning point had been confirmed and Murray, who turned 25 in May, cried as he struggled to address the his fans. Some cried with him.

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  • Tennis - 2012 Australian Open - Day Twelve - Melbourne Park

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates winning the third set against Serbia's Novak Djokovic during day twelve of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Tennis - 2012 Australian Open - Day Twelve - Melbourne Park

    Great Britain's Andy Murray reacts in frustration during the match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic during day twelve of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Britain's Andy Murray reacts to a lost point to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championship, in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his

    Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his victory over Andy Murray of Britain in their men's singles semi-final match on day 12 at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne early on January 28, 2012. Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia (L) embraces op

    Novak Djokovic of Serbia (L) embraces opponent Andy Murray of Britain after victory in their semi-final men's singles match on the twelfth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne early January 28, 2012. Djokovic won 6-3. 3-6. 6-7. 6-1. 7-5. . IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO/WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia (R) embraces op

    Novak Djokovic of Serbia (R) embraces opponent Andy Murray of Britain after victory in their semi-final men's singles match on the twelfth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne early January 28, 2012. Djokovic won 6-3. 3-6. 6-7. 6-1. 7-5. . IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO/PAUL CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia embraces Andy M

    Novak Djokovic of Serbia embraces Andy Murray of Britain (R) at the net after their men's singles semi-final match on day 12 at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne early on January 28, 2012. Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2012 Australian Open - Day 12

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27: Andy Murray of Great Britain exits the arena after losing his semifinal match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day twelve of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

  • Andy Murray of Britain gestures during a

    Andy Murray of Britain gestures during a post-match press conference after his loss to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their men's singles semi-final match on day 12 at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne early on January 28, 2012. Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray after beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • View of men's singles semi-final match o

    View of men's singles semi-final match on Centre Court between Britain's Andy Murray and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day 11 of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 6, 2012. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Eleven

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Andy Murray of Great Britain hits a forehand shot during his Gentlemen's Singles semi final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on day eleven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Britain's Andy Murray and France's Jo-Wi

    Britain's Andy Murray and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (L) wait for the result of the line-call at the end of their men's singles semi-final on day 11 of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 6, 2012. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray in action against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    *Alternate Crop* Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray embraces France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after beating him in their semi-final match during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates defeating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Eleven - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates defeating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during day eleven of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Andy Murray of Britain reacts after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during a semifinals match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Friday, July 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain falls to the ground during his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates match point during his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain receives his runners up trophy from Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent after his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • Britain's Andy Murray gestures after his

    Britain's Andy Murray gestures after his men's singles final defeat to Switzerland's Roger Federer on day 13 of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 8, 2012. Federer won the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after being defeated in his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Thirteen - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Great Britain's Andy Murray becomes emotional after losing the Men's Singles Final to Switzerland's Roger Federer during day thirteen of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Britain's Andy Murray gestures as he sta

    Britain's Andy Murray gestures as he stands with his runners-up trophy after his men's singles final defeat to Switzerland's Roger Federer on day 13 of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 8, 2012. Federer won the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. AFP PHOTO/ LEON NEAL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after being defeated in his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after being defeated in his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • Britain's Andy Murray gestures as he sta

    Britain's Andy Murray gestures as he stands with his runners-up trophy, the winner's trophy is seen in the foreground after his men's singles final defeat to Switzerland's Roger Federer on day 13 of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 8, 2012. Federer won the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. AFP PHOTO/ GLYN KIRK RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Chair Umpire Enric Molina after winning his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after being defeated in his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after being defeated in his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Thirteen

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts while holding his runners up trophy after being defeated in his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

  • Tennis - 2012 Wimbledon Championships - Day Thirteen - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

    Switzerland's Roger Federer kisses the trophy after defeating Great Britain's Andy Murray to win the Men's Singles Final during day thirteen of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

  • Olympics Day 9 - Tennis

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Andy Murray of Great Britain serves the ball against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the Men's Singles Tennis Gold Medal Match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray serves to Sw

    Great Britain's Andy Murray serves to Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray returns the

    Great Britain's Andy Murray returns the ball to Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray smiles as he

    Great Britain's Andy Murray smiles as he plays against Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray returns the

    Great Britain's Andy Murray returns the ball to Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Olympics Day 9 - Tennis

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Andy Murray of Great Britain serves the ball against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the Men's Singles Tennis Gold Medal Match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates a

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates as he plays against Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates a

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates as he plays against Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Olympics Day 9 - Tennis

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the Men's Singles Tennis Gold Medal Match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England. Murray defeated Federer in the gold medal match in straight sets 2-6, 1-6, 4-6. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates w

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates with his girlfriend Kim Sears after winning the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games by defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates a

    Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after winning the men's singles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games by defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/GettyImages)

Four weeks on at the same venue, tears of joy replaced tears of sadness. Murray overwhelmed Federer in straight sets in the London 2012 Olympics men's final. He even sang a few lines of God Save the Queen with a wry smile. Although it wasn't redemption, it exorcised the ghosts of that rain-drenched July day as the August sun shone on the Dunblane hero to illuminate him like an angel.

andy murray us open

Grand Slam

Grand Slam status would have to wait until September and the US Open final, four years on from when he was helpless against the Federer juggernaut in his first major final at Flushing Meadows. It ended where it had started; against Djokovic in another five set marathon as day gave way to night and Brits stayed up until the wee hours of 11 September. Murray emulated Perry's 1936 New York achievement, winning 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 in four hours 54 minutes in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, just four minutes more than his Australian Open loss in the first month of 2012. It's only a matter of time until he gets his own clothes label.