Andy Murray goes into his fifth Grand Slam final in the US Open at Flushing Meadows on Monday hoping to end the 76-year wait for a British winner of a men’s singles event. He will face defending champion Novak Djokovic (2-5) and is once again rated the underdog at 2-1 with Bet365.
Murray will be hoping to emulate his coach Ivan Lendl who lost his first four Grand Slam finals before winning at the French Open in 1984. Lendl retired with eight Grand Slam victories, although he never won Wimbledon. Should Murray suffer a fifth defeat, he will join Fred Stolle who lost his first five slam finals in the 1960’s before winning at the French in 1965. Murray can also use his Olympic gold medal victory for inspiration where he defeated Djokovic in the last four.
Of more concern to Murray will be the sublime form of Djokovic in turning around a first set loss against Ferrer before powering to a four-set victory in his semi-final. It was very reminiscent of Murray’s victory over Berdych the night before and sets up a fascinating clash. The pair met in the final of the Australian Open last year when Djokovic cruised to an emphatic straight sets victory. Djokovic was again victorious over Murray in Australia this year but he needed five sets to see off a determined challenge from the Scot. The Serb has won his last 27 matches on hard-courts at Grand Slam events going back to the US Open final in 2010. In the overall head-to-head, it is not easy to call with Djokovic taking their first four meetings but Murray winning six of the last ten. They are level at 2-2 for this year.
British hopes were raised at Wimbledon this summer when Murray took the opening set in the final against Roger Federer. Unfortunately that was as good as it got with the Swiss raising his game to run out an impressive 3-1 winner. Murray must surely look for a similarly fast start on Monday and hope that he can put Djokovic under pressure. Murray is 6-4 to take the opening set. He has the benefit of a full day’s rest and his experience of Wimbledon and the Olympics will give him an extra determination. Djokovic has spoken of his need to come to the net more often and add a new dimension to his game this season but he may be reluctant to do so against such a versatile performer as Murray.
Despite the odds favouring Djokovic, it would be no surprise to see this match go the distance and William Hill offer 5-2 about a five-set thriller.