Andy Murray is within one match of turning Olympic gold into Grand Slam glory. Little more than a month after his triumph at London 2012, Murray will play in the US Open final in New York tomorrow after beating the Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6 yesterday in the semi-finals.
The match was played in the most demanding conditions as gusting winds swirled around the court. With a severe thunderstorm predicted for later in the day, yesterday's second semi-final between Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer was called off before the first set had been completed. The Serb and the Spaniard will resume at 11am today (4pm BST), with Ferrer leading 5-2, while the final will be played at 4pm (9pm BST) tomorrow.
After losing his first four Grand Slam finals – a record matched in the Open era only by his coach Ivan Lendl – this should be Murray's best chance of making his breakthrough. The 25-year-old Scot will have today to prepare for his second US Open final, while his opponent will have to play three days in succession. The boot had been on the other foot when Murray played his first Grand Slam final here four years ago, Roger Federer having the advantage of an extra day's preparation.
When he was asked to compare how differently he would feel this time around, Murray said: "I'm obviously a lot more mature. I have had a lot more experience in these sort of situations."
He added: "Novak and David are very, very experienced, so I'm sure they will deal with the situation better than I did back then anyway. But it will be nice to get a rest tomorrow and be able to practise and get my rhythm back. Some of the shots I was playing out there today I certainly won't be playing if it calms down."
Having also lost to Federer in his first Wimbledon final two months ago, Murray believes that his victory in the Olympics, when he beat the world No 1 to take the gold, has helped with his confidence.
Murray, whose semi-final victory ensured that he will replace Rafael Nadal as world No 3 tomorrow, said: "I think all experiences like that help. In some ways maybe it took a bit of pressure off me, but I do think that even having played here and lost in the final, that is also a good experience to have gone through."
He added: "Winning a major is the last thing that I really want to do. It means a lot to me. You saw at Wimbledon how much that meant to me. It's obviously not easy to lose another Slam final, so I hope this one is a different story."
In a bizarre episode in the middle of his post-match press conference Murray was interrupted by three Scottish gate-crashers. Sir Sean Connery, who had been watching the semi-final, ushered in Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, and Judy Murray, the world No 4's mother.
"Excuse me for interrupting, but I just wanted to make a point," Connery said. Murray hugged his mother, telling her: "You smell of wine." Judy looked at Ferguson and said: "He made me have wine. He's just been telling me that Scotland invented the world."
Ferguson replied: "I've been coming here the last three years to New York, and I explained how Scotland invented the world. Today we invented the wind." Connery added: "Today they conquered the world." As they left, Ferguson said "Very good. Fantastic. Continue your interview."
Murray said: "That's the first time I've met Sir Alex and the first time I've met Sir Sean, as well. That's obviously nice to have their support. Hopefully they'll be back for the final as well."Reuse content