Andy Murray admitted he felt a huge sense of relief after finally breaking his grand slam duck at the US Open.
The British number one overcame the disappointment of surrendering a two-set lead to outlast Novak Djokovic in a pulsating final that spanned four hours and 54 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Murray had previously lost four major finals in his career, including at Wimbledon this year when he was beaten by Roger Federer.
He admits that having at one stage been in total control in New York, it would have been a "tough one to lose" against Djokovic.
"Right now, it's a lot of relief," Murray told Sky Sports.
"That would have been a tough one to lose, so I'm so, so happy I managed to pull through in the end. The body is hurting a bit, but it's worth it.
"At the beginning of the fifth set I went to the toilet and I said to myself 'you've got one set, give it all you've got'.
"I got lucky with the net cord on the break point and I settled down a bit after that.
"It was just guts at the end. After I'd lost the two-set lead it was tough to keep going. I just had to fight hard right to the end."
Murray's success at the fifth time of asking reflects the career path of his coach Ivan Lendl - a man who seems to have had a major impact on the Scot since they started working together.
"I was really nervous today - more nervous than I had been before Wimbledon and the Olympics," the third seed admitted. "The locker rooms are completely deserted, so you're on your own a lot and thinking a lot.
"It's great to have him there because he's been there and done it.
"I looked up (during the match) and he looked bored some times, but it's good to have someone in there that is calm and composed.
"When he's away from the court he's a little bit like myself, when we're away from the cameras we joke around quite a bit. He's quite shy but he won't stop talking away from the cameras.
"He spends the whole day making jokes, some of them inappropriate, but he's good to have around."
The new world number three - he will now take over that position from Rafael Nadal - also explained how he'd had to go through the pain barrier against an opponent he described as being "elastic almost."
"I think I've pretty much lost one of my toe nails," Murray said. "When I ran up to play a drop shot at the first point on 5-2 I felt it had gone.
"It's really, really tough, on this surface especially. Things do get sore and some of the rallies were brutal.
"He's elastic almost. He makes the court feel really small and makes it tough to hit winners.
"It was physically demanding and mentally tough as well. Although I had a two-set lead I knew he was going to come back strong.
"To come through a match tonight against him in five sets, after losing a five-setter in Australia, is really important for me."
Which of the following do you consider the best sporting achievement by a Briton in the US?
Andy Murray winning the US Open
Lennox Lewis v Evander Holyfield
Tony Jacklin's 1970 US Open win
Seb Coe's 1500m win in LA 1984
Paula Radcliffe winning Chicago marathon with a world record in 2002
Nick Faldo's three Masters wins
Ricky Hatton v Luis Collazo in Boston
Naseem Hamed v Kevin Kelley