LONDON — Andy Murray's first Wimbledon championship was for his country.
This one was for Andy Murray.
Dulling big serves with quick-reflex returns, conjuring up daring passing shots and playing impressively mistake-free tennis all the while, Murray beat Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) Sunday for his second trophy at the All England Club and third Grand Slam title overall.
In 2013, Murray famously ended Britain's 77-year wait for one of its own to again win the men's final at Wimbledon, a quest that became burdensome for the Scot.
Now he wanted a victory to end his personal rut of three consecutive losses in major finals, including at the Australian Open in January and French Open last month.
"It is different. I feel happier this time. I feel more content this time. I feel like this was sort of more for myself more than anything, and my team as well," the second-seeded Murray said. "Last time it was just pure relief, and I didn't really enjoy the moment as much, whereas I'm going to make sure I enjoy this one."
This was his 11th Grand Slam final but first against someone other than Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. The sixth-seeded Raonic eliminated Federer in five sets in the semifinals and also defeated the player who stunned Djokovic in the third round, Sam Querrey. Those wins helped Raonic become the first man representing Canada to reach a major final.
He did it primarily by averaging 251/2 aces through six matches. But on a breezy afternoon, at a Centre Court filled with nearly 15,000 partisan fans, Murray shut down that integral part of Raonic's game.
"This one's going to sting," Raonic said.
Murray, 29, long dealt with the expectations that accompanied being Britain's best chance to find a male champion to succeed Fred Perry, who last won Wimbledon in 1936. But he has dealt with that and thrived, thanks to a counter-punching game and sublime returns of serve.
It took Raonic 36 minutes and five service games to record his first ace, and he finished with only eight. Murray continually got the ball back, even one that came in at 147 mph, the second-fastest recorded serve in Wimbledon history (148, Taylor Dent).
"I tried to put the things together," Raonic, 25, said. "I tried coming forward, putting pressure on him. He was playing much better than me off the baseline. He was more effective there. I was keeping up with him. But then when it counted, I wasn't able to get on top."
And while Murray only broke Raonic once, to lead 4-3 in the opening set, that was all it took, because the tiebreakers were surprisingly one-way traffic.
Taking it all in from Murray's guest box, with seemingly nary a smile, was coach Ivan Lendl. They worked together when Murray won his first two Grand Slam trophies, including at the 2012 U.S. Open, then split up, then reunited last month.
When he sat in his sideline chair after the match, Murray wiped away tears.
"I'm just really proud that I managed to (win Wimbledon) again after a lot of tough losses in the latter stages of the Slams over the last couple of years," he said. "I'm also aware of how difficult these competitions are to win once. To do it twice here, an event where there's a lot of pressure on me to perform, I'm very proud with how I've handled that."