Andy Murray was full of relief after finally winning a grand slam title following a thrilling five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.
Despite his Olympics triumph in London last month, Murray was the underdog heading into the match having lost in four consecutive finals in a major tournament. He looked to be in the ascendancy after taking the first two sets but needed to show tremendous character in the fifth to seal a 7-6 (12/10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 victory.
The 25-year-old said: "It was an incredibly tough match and obviously it felt great at the end. Relief is probably the best word I would use to describe how I'm feeling just now. I'm very, very happy that I managed to come through because if I had lost this one from two sets up, that would have been a tough one to take."
Murray added: "I was still doubting myself right up to a few minutes before going on to play the match. It's something I have never done before. I have been in this position many times and not managed to get through.
"I am just so relieved to finally have got there and I can put this one behind me and hopefully win more. I think just proving to myself is probably the most pleasing part about tonight, because there were times when I didn't know if I was going to be able to do it."
Murray admitted there have been moments when he questioned whether he would ever lift a grand slam title, pointing to his loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year - his fourth loss in a grand slam final.
And the 25-year-old believes his task of winning a major was made more complicated by the fact he was regularly competing against three of the greatest players of all time - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic - in the latter stages.
He said: "There were times, after Wimbledon this year, for a few days afterwards where you think: "Is it ever going to happen? Competing against some of the best players of all times makes it harder.
"I don't want to be disrespectful to any other players but when Federer won his first slam it was against (Mark) Philippoussis, who had also never won one, Rafa against (Mariano) Puerta, who had never won one, and Djokovic against (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga.
"When I've been in slam finals they've been against Roger, who's one of the greatest players ever, and also against Novak so it's been incredibly tough for me mentally and there's no easy matches. I just managed to fight through in the end today and hopefully I can push on from here."