Said Djokovic, who famously ate blades of grass after winning Wimbledon in 2011: "The atmosphere was incredible for him. For me, not so much. But that's what I expected."
The fans were active participants throughout, lamenting "awwww" when Murray missed a serve; cheering rowdily when he hit one of his 36 winners, five more than Djokovic; shushing in unison when someone called out in premature agony or delight while a point was in progress.
That was understandable. Points rarely are over when they appear to be if Murray and Djokovic are involved. The elastic Djokovic's sliding carries him to so many shots, while Murray is more of a powerful scrambler. It took a half-hour to get through the opening five games, in part because 10 of 32 points lasted at least 10 strokes apiece. And this all happened with the temperature above 80 degrees (27 Celsius), with only the occasional puff of cloud interrupting the blue sky.
Born a week apart in May 1987, Murray and Djokovic have known each other since they were 11, and they grasp the ins and outs of each other's games so well.
"You've got to fight so hard to get past Novak, because he's such an incredible competitor, an amazing athlete, and it's never over 'til it's over," Judy Murray said.
This was their 19th meeting on tour (Djokovic leads 11-8), and their fourth in a Grand Slam final, including three in the past year. Both are fantastic returners, and Murray broke seven times Sunday, once more than Djokovic lost his serve in the preceding six matches combined.
In the late going, Djokovic was taking some shortcuts, repeatedly trying drop shots or rushing to the net to shorten points, but neither strategy tended to work.
"He was getting some incredible shots on the stretch and running down the drop shots," Djokovic said. "He was all over the court."