Murray, king of New York

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Not even Tropical Storm Hanna could stop Hurricane Andy sweeping into his first Grand Slam final here last night after the greatest performance of the young Scot's life. Andy Murray had been stopped in his tracks by the wind and rain that ripped along the north-east American coast on Saturday, but he picked himself up and blew Rafael Nadal off the court when their US Open semi-final resumed 26 hours later.

Any fears that the overnight disruption would throw Murray off his path were dispelled as the British No 1 completed a superb 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 victory over the world No 1. Nadal, who had swept all before him this summer, mounted a spirited comeback to take the third set, but in the end the Spaniard was outhit, outthought and outplayed. In tonight's final Murray will face Roger Federer, who will be attempting to win the title for the fifth year in a row.

Although Murray had lost all five of his previous matches against Nadal, he always believed he could beat the 22-year-old Spaniard. If Nadal looked sluggish and appeared to pay the price of a gruelling summer, it took a player of exceptional talent and composure to expose his fatigue.

Murray served brilliantly throughout and found the perfect balance between defence and attack. When he went for his shots, Murray struck the ball with a power that frequently took Nadal aback. It was a complete reversal of their meeting in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon two months ago, when Nadal outmuscled the Briton in straight sets.

The Scot wears the Fred Perry crest on his shirts and will now attempt to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since his famous predecessor won the last of his eight major titles here 72 years ago. Murray is the first Briton to play in a Grand Slam final since Greg Rusedski lost to Pat Rafter here 11 years ago. John Lloyd, who lost to Vitas Gerulaitis in Australia in 1977, is the only other British man to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era.

"Roger's probably the greatest player ever, so to get the chance to play against him in a Grand Slam final is an honour," Murray said after the match. "I've played well against him in the past so I hope I can do that again tomorrow." He added: "I'm very relieved. It was tough to come back after I was two sets up yesterday and I'm so glad that I came through. The atmosphere in here was unbelievable today. The crowd only got a set and a half's worth of tennis, but they were unbelievable, even though I think they wanted a fifth set."

Asked to explain his huge affection for the US Open, where he won the junior title four years ago, Murray said: "It's my favourite tournament. It has been since I was a junior. It's just different. I had the guys from 'Entourage', which is my favourite TV show, here the other night and Will Ferrell, my favourite comedian, was watching today. You don't get that back home."

The overnight situation had borne unwelcome similarities with Tim Henman's Wimbledon semi-final seven years ago, when Murray's predecessor as British No 1 was leading Goran Ivanisevic but failed to capitalise on his advantage after the match was held over because of rain.

The two players had to cope with both a change in weather conditions yesterdayand a change of venue. The first two hours of the match had been played in the more intimate Louis Armstrong Stadium on Saturday, but yesterday the match was switched to the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium. Murray had dominated the first two sets the previous day, but resumed a break down in the third. Nevertheless he started confidently enough, winning his first two service games to love and forcing a break point when Nadal served for the set at 5-4. The Spaniard saved it with an ace and then converted his second set point with a forehand winner.

The world No 1 was right back in contention after a remarkable period of play at the start of the fourth set. Having saved seven break points in a 15-minute game to level at 1-1, Nadal immediately broke Murray. At 1-3 and 0-30 Murray was looking shaky, but he dug deep to hold serve and in the next game broke to level at 3-3 as Nadal hit two forehands long and netted a volley from 40-30 up as Murray turned up the pressure. At 3-4 the Spaniard saved another break point and at 4-5 the Scot's pressure finally told.

Murray played the last three points superbly, manoeuvring Nadal all around the court before moving forward to deliver the killer blow. On his first match point Murray chased down Nadal's weak drop shot and drilled a backhand winner down the line.

Now Murray has to regroup and refocus on the task of beating the man who has won the title here for the last four years in succession. Federer himself believes that it will be to Murray's advantage that he will not be playing his first Grand Slam final at his home tournament.

"I guess it's less pressure for him to be in the finals here than at Wimbledon," Federer said. "There's no doubt, even though he would have tremendous support over there. I still feel he's maybe even better on grass than on hard courts.

"I remember coming in as the favourite for my first final. That will obviously be a big difference for him, even though he beat me last time. It will be interesting, but I have a feeling he's a guy who plays well on the big occasions."

Murray has won two of his three matches against Federer. The Scot lost on their first meeting in Bangkok three years ago but beat him in the Cincinnati Masters two years ago and in Dubai earlier this year.

The weekend scheduling here has certainly done him no favours. While Murray spent yesterday completing his semi-final, Federer was able to recuperate and ready himself for today's final, which will begin at 5pm this afternoon (10pm BST).

Tournament organisers were criticised for their failure to schedule the two semi-finals at the same time on different courts on Saturday. Murray's match was eventually moved to Louis Armstrong Stadium from Arthur Ashe, but not in time for it to be completed. The Scot will be grateful that he was not detained for more than an hour and a half yesterday, but taking on the man he believes is the greatest ever to play the game will be some challenge. Murray, however, believes he is up to it.

Final hurdle: The Grand Slam record

*US OPEN

British finalists in open era: 1

Greg Rusedski (1997) Lost to Patrick Rafter

Last British winner: Fred Perry

(Non-open era, 1936)

*WIMBLEDON

British finalists in open era: 0

Last winner: Perry (1936)

*FRENCH OPEN

British finalists in open era: 0

Last winner: Perry (1935)

*AUSTRALIAN OPEN

British finalists in open era: 1

John Lloyd (1977) Lost to Vitas Gerulaitis

Last winner: Perry (1934)

Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star