Andy Murray said today he felt sure the ghost of Fred Perry was smiling down on him after he became the first British man to win a Grand Slam tennis title since the man whose clothing range he used to wear, more than three quarters of a century ago.

The 25-year-old from Dunblane - who also became the first Scottish-born winner of a major since Harold Mahony won Wimbledon in 1897 - was watched by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Sean Connery as he emulated Perry's 1936 win here with a 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 win over Novak Djokovic in a record-equalling 4 hours 54 minutes on the Arthur Ashe arena

"I never got the chance to meet him [Perry]," said Murray, who ended a wait of 287 major tournaments without a British male singles winner.

"But it would have been nice to have spoken to someone from Britain that had, you know, won major tournaments before. That definitely would have helped me if I would have got the chance.

"I used to wear his clothing line when I was growing up and I'm sure he's smiling from up there that someone has finally managed to do it from Britain. I'm very, very happy, and I hope I can see another British player in my lifetime win a Grand Slam."

The Scot, who was chided in the post-match press conference for being too taciturn, admitted to a few tears in the throes of victory, but said relief the dominant emotion.

He had been nervous before the match but was now targeting more major victories in the future. "I was still doubting myself right up to a few minutes before you go on to play the match," he said.

"You're thinking, you know 'are you going to be able to do this? This is going to be tough. Matches against him always is going to hurt, you know, as well. Physically it's challenging. It is something I have never done before. I am just so relieved, like I said, to finally have got through and can put this one behind me and hopefully win more."

The match, played out in difficult, breezy conditions in the Arthur Ashe arena, put to an end a run of four agonising Grand Slam final defeats, the Scot's epic five-set win win emulating the career of his coach Ivan Lendl who went on to win eight slams after losing his first four major finals. The win also makes Murray the first man to win Olympic singles gold and the US Open in the same year.

Particularly impressive was the fact that it was Djokovic who found himself outgunned in a five-set match. Although Murray had the benefit of an extra day's rest, he had spent five more hours on court than the Serb on his run through the tournament.

Afterwards Djokovic paid tribute to the new champion. "I had a great opponent," he said. "He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody because over the years he has been a top player.

"He's been so close and lost four finals. Now he has won it so I would like to congratulate him. There is no doubt that he deserves to win the Grand Slam."

Praise for Murray's historic achievement poured in thick and fast. Former British number one Greg Rusedski, who lost in the US Open final in 1997, said: "That was unbelievable. If you look back, Fred Perry won his last major on September 10, and Andy Murray has won it on September 10 (in the US).

"At the end of the day he found a way to get it done and found a way to control his emotions. He can thank Ivan Lendl for that. You have to give him so much credit for what he`s done, to keep believing in what he`s done.

"It shows you what a champion he is and, having won this, he can go on to win many majors and maybe end the year as the British number one."

Former Davis Cup captain John Lloyd adde: "What a performance, that was just epic, a just dazzling performance from Murray. Mentally to come back from those positions - losing a two sets to love lead - how on earth did he do it?"

Reaction to Murray's win also came in on Twitter. Former tennis star Andre Agassi tweeted: "Well deserved...Congratulations to the #USOPEN Champion Andy Murray!!!", while world golf number one Rory McIlroy said: "Massive congrats Andy Murray!!!! The first of many and well worth the wait!"

Golfer Luke Donald adde: "Great tennis Andy Murray, thoroughly deserved, another glorious moment in British sport this year."

Comedian Jimmy Carr quipped: "Andy Murray has just made me cry. The man is a God. I'm so happy", while Scottish writer Irvine Welsh had some patriotic praise for his countryman: "God bless @andy_murray, his friends, family, and the good people of Dunblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Big love and big thanks from us all x".

First Minister Alex Salmond added: "Congratulations to Andy Murray on what was a fantastic performance. This is another brilliant win over Novak Djokovic and continues an amazing year for Andy.

"Now Olympic and US Open champion, Andy truly is a Scottish sporting legend and I'm certain that more grand slam titles will follow."

David Cameron hailed Murray's win a "truly great victory" that continued the golden summer of sport.

The Prime Minister took to Twitter to lead congratulations over the Scottish tennis player's historic win. He tweeted: "Delighted Andy Murray is continuing a golden summer of sport by winning the US Open. A truly great victory."