If it's true, as they say, that the toughest Grand Slam title to win is your first, then Andy Murray was right to feel relief, above all, when he finally got No. 1 out of the way at the U.S. Open.
''I certainly was doubting myself a bit, and thinking about the match and how tough it was going to be, and whether I was going to be able to do it or not,'' Murray said on Tuesday, a day after beating defending champion Novak Djokovic over nearly five hours in the final at Flushing Meadows, ''so I'm just glad that I finally managed to do it.''
As he spoke those words, Murray stared at his reflection in the shiny silver trophy he so longed for and now had earned, adding: ''And I hope it's not the only one.''
No reason to believe it will be.
Indeed, with his defensive and returning skills, and a new willingness to be aggressive with his forehand, Murray might very well be considered the man to beat when tennis returns to the Grand Slam scene at the Australian Open in January.