Andy Murray hopes he will return to Wimbledon as defending champion next summer feeling the weight of history lifted from his shoulders.
The world number two headed off to the Champions' Ball last night clutching the trophy Britain has waited 77 years to win once again.
Last year Murray became the first British man since the 1930s to reach the men's singles final and yesterday he went one better with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 victory over Novak Djokovic.
Fred Perry's reign is finally over and, although there will be pressure for Murray to repeat the feat, it will never again be quite like it has been for the past fortnight.
Murray said: "It's really hard. For the last four or five years, it's been very, very tough, very stressful, a lot of pressure. The few days before the tournament are really difficult as well.
"The last two days haven't been easy. It's so hard to avoid everything because of how big this event is, but also because of the history and no Brit having won. It's been very, very difficult.
"I think I felt a little bit better this year than I did last year. I think now it will become easier. I hope it will."
Winning Olympic gold and his first grand slam title at the US Open in the heady days of last summer certainly helped Murray.
But since his five-set win over Djokovic in New York, Murray had lost to the world number one in the Australian Open, and it was tough to pick a favourite going into yesterday's match.
Murray was the better player throughout yet Djokovic had chances in every set, leading 4-1 in the second and 4-2 in the third only for his opponent to battle back.
The final game provided a fittingly dramatic conclusion as Murray saw three match points slip away then had to save three break points before Djokovic finally netted a backhand.
"It's the hardest few points I've had to play in my life," said a delighted and dazed Murray afterwards. "Winning Wimbledon, I still can't believe it."
It has been some journey for the 26-year-old from the heartbreak of coming close so many times on the biggest stages to multiple grand slam winner.
"I think I persevered," said Murray. "That's really been it, the story of my career.
"I had a lot of tough losses but the one thing I would say is I think every year I always improved a little bit.
"They weren't major improvements, massive changes, but every year my ranking was going in the right direction. I was always going a little bit further in the slams.
"I kept learning and I just kept working as hard as I could."