Murray edges Berdych, makes it to US Open final
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Andy Murray of Great Britain earned another shot at winning the US Open title after beating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(7), Saturday in a rain-delayed semifinal match.
Murray’s opponent for the title will not be known until Sunday when play resumes in the other semifinal pairing between defending champion and No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 David Ferrer. Ferrer was leading, 5-2, in the first set when play was suspended.
The women’s final between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka scheduled Saturday night was also reset to Sunday due to expected rainstorms and heavy winds.
After a 90-minute rain delay, strong winds had affected Murray and Berdych’s performance during their semifinal battle, committing nine double faults and 84 unforced errors.
“It was brutal to play in that wind, it’s hard to describe,” said Murray, who will have a chance to win his first US Open title since 2008 when he was defeated by Roger Federer in the final.
“The ball was sometimes stopping, moving the other way, and it was hard to serve, so the focus wasn’t really on going for aces, just getting the first serve in. Those are probably the hardest conditions I’ve ever had to play in,” Murray added.
Murray is bidding to become the first British man to lift a major trophy since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Championships. Last month, Murray won the singles gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
Berdych, who committed 64 unforced errors, blamed the strong wind for the loss, saying it affected his serves because of his high toss.
“The wind was one part of opponent, so it was a really tough one,” Berdych said. “It affects my serve a lot because I have a higher toss. When I’m not able to serve, and go for the first serve and I’m not making straight points from the serve, then that’s not my game. So actually, it was quite hard to adjust to that, because I’m normally not used to that.”
In the first set, Berdych used his effective groundstrokes to keep Murray defending from the baseline and set himself for net approaches, putting away the British in 77 minutes.
In the second frame, Murray raised his game to a higher level, using a variety of shots to offset Berdych’s huge serves to grab a 5-1 lead which helped him finish the set in just 44 minutes.
Murray carried the momentum of his second-set win in the next frame, capitalizing on Berdych’s unforced errors to grab a 2-1 set lead after 39 minutes.
Berdych came back to life in the fourth set, bouncing back from a 0-3 deficit to force tiebreak, where he raced off to a 4-1 lead.
Murray fought back to tie the count at 5 before Berdych created a set point opportunity with a volley winner. Murray saved it with a backhand winner for 6-6 and earned his first match point chance at 7-6.
Berdych hit an ace down the middle to tie for the last time before hitting a forehand long on the next point. At 8-7, Berdych hit another long forehand to allow Murray to escape with the victory.