Flushing Meadows, NY – Andy Murray is once again in position to capture his first career Grand Slam title after rallying from a set down to beat Tomas Berdych in the U.S. Open semifinals.
Murray claimed a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) victory on Saturday at the USTA National Tennis Center and earned a place in a Grand Slam final for the fifth time in his career. He has yet to win one, however.
The Scotsman reached the 2008 U.S. Open title match and lost to Roger Federer, then fell to the Swiss superstar in the 2009 Australian Open final before also dropping the 2010 Aussie Open finale to Novak Djokovic. Federer beat him again for the Wimbledon crown back in July, but Murray finally won a big title just a few weeks later when he denied the 17-time Grand Slam champion of a gold medal at the London Olympics.
Now, another chance for Grand Slam glory.
Murray's opponent in the final at Flushing Meadows will be the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between Djokovic and David Ferrer.
Weather played a big role in Saturday's action. Rain delayed the start of play for more than an hour, and with more inclement weather in the forecast, officials decided to postpone the women's final -- scheduled for Saturday night -- until Sunday.
Winds were strong at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday and Murray appeared to struggle early.
Despite picking up the first break of the match for a 2-1 lead, Murray gave it right back in the next game. The set remained on serve until the 12th game, when Berdych won three of the first four points. He squandered the first set point with a forehand into the net, but blasted a forehand winner on the next.
Berdych captured the opening set despite 19 unforced errors, two fewer than he had in his four-set upset win over Federer in the quarterfinals.
Murray then made adjustments and had little trouble over the next two sets. He broke serve twice in the second and three times in the third while never facing a break point.
Each player broke once in a tight fourth set and Berdych was on the verge of forcing a fifth after racing out to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak. Murray battled back and squared it at 5-5.
A Berdych forehand error set up a match point at 7-6 for Murray, but the Czech quickly followed with an ace. Berdych then drilled a pair of forehands long on the ensuing two points to give Murray the match.
Berdych finished the match with a whopping 64 unforced errors, compared to just 20 for Murray
It marked the best U.S. Open finish for Berdych, who previously had been only as far as the fourth round three times.