Daily Dispatch: Andy Murray Wins US Open
After four unsuccessful tries, Andy Murray at last earned his first Grand Slam title, beating World No. 2 Novak Djokovic 7-6(8), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2, in a lengthy five set final at the US Open.
Murray came out looking the more comfortable player in the heavy wind, breaking Djokovic in the very first game of the match, but the two traded several service breaks before Murray took the first set in a tiebreak, 10-8.
Murray took a 4-0 lead in the second set, but Djokovic stormed back to 5-all. It looked as if momentum had shifted to the defending champion Djokovic’s side, but Murray stopped the bleeding by winning the next two games on a Djokovic break of serve.
Djokovic raised his level considerably in the next two sets. It felt like Murray’s big chance was slipping further and further away from his fingertips.
This time, Murray would not allow himself to be weighed down by the gravity of the moment. From the moment the fifth set started, it was one-way traffic. He played from ahead the entire set, never letting Djokovic back in the match as he served for it.
The cliche expression, “it’s never over until it’s over,” seems to have been created solely for the purpose of describing what happens when Djokovic’s at the other end of the net, down match point. Fittingly, like in his 2011 US Open semifinal match against Federer, he ripped a return on Murray’s second championship point. But this time it went long, sealing the first Grand Slam victory for a British man since 1936.
Murray appeared subdued after the match, seemingly in disbelief that he had achieved the elusive goal he’d been wanting for so long. He had finally been stripped of the unfortunate title of being considered the best ATP player never to have won a Slam.
“You’re in a little bit of disbelief because when I have been in that position many times before and not won, you do think, is it ever going to happen?” Murray said. “Relief is probably the best word I would use to describe how I’m feeling just now. 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.”
With Murray having fulfilled his biggest goal for 2012, the battle will relocate to Asia, Bercy, and the World Tour Finals in London as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic square off to earn the year-end No. 1 ranking.
Federer has a daunting 3000 ranking points to defend in Basel, Bercy, and London, all tournaments he won last year. Djokovic has just 560 to defend, since he played such a light schedule in 2011 due to injury. Still, Federer holds a 1335 point advantage over Djokovic, and although Djokovic has an edge in the coming weeks, Federer still has an (albeit slim) chance to retain the ranking.
Elsewhere, Tomas Berdych moved up one spot to World No. 6 with his US Open semifinals appearance, matching his career-high ranking(achieved in 2010). He should qualify for the World Tour Finals, barring anything unexpected.
Serena Williams, by winning the US Open title, officially qualified for the WTA Championships.
Jon Wertheim reports that a member of Nadal’s camp divulged they are aiming for a career end-date at the 2016 Rio Olympics. With injuries currently plaguing him, it’s hard to predict the length of Nadal’s career, and a lot could change before then. Still, it’s interesting to note that Nadal is already plotting his exit for a date in the distant future.
Juan Martin del Potro announced on his Twitter page that his doctor advised a period of rest for 15 days for his left wrist problem. Without Nalbandian, who is also injured, the Argentinian Davis Cup team could struggle against the Czech Republic next week. Del Potro’s potential absence tips the scales even further in favor of the Czechs. But del Potro said he would try to play if he feels well enough.
Comic relief: Sean Connery gives an enthusiastic fist pump for Murray at the US Open final.
Tweets of the day:
At bee gees tennis nation Have you seen Patrick?
— John McEnroe (@McEnroeTweets) September 10, 2012
That’s some incredible defense there. Particularly for a guy who’s coached by Lendl let’s be honest.
— John McEnroe (@McEnroeTweets) September 11, 2012
What a historic night! Tonight Andy achieved his dream. He got the result his talent dedication and perseverancedeserved. So proud of him.
— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) September 11, 2012