Murray outlasts Djokovic, captures US Open title
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Andy Murray squandered a two-set lead but showed nerves of steel in the stretch to carve out a hard-earned 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory over defending champion Novak Djokovic Monday to capture the US Open trophy.
Unfazed by the Serbian’s comeback, Murray broke Djokovic twice in the first three games to take a 3-0 lead en route to his first Grand Slam title in five attempts.
Murray hit 30 winners compared to the Serbian’s 19 and had four fewer unforced errors to finish the match in four hours and 54 minutes.
“Novak is so strong, he fights until the end every of match and don’t know how I managed to come through in the end,” said Murray, who became the first British man to lift a major trophy since Fred Perry won the 1936 US Championships.
Murray credited coach Ivan Lendl, who also captured his first Grand Slam title after five tries, for the victory that propelled him to No. 3 in the world ranking, ahead of injured Rafael Nadal.
“He’s one of greatest players ever to play, he made eight consecutive finals here,” Murray said of Lendl “Having him here supporting me has helped in the tough moments. But it’s not only him – everyone else too. They’ve been there since the start, thanks very much.”
In the first set, the two protagonists had a see-saw battle, exchanging leads for several times Murray forced tiebreak with by reeling three straight points.
Murray missed his first five opportunities to close out the set, three coming off errors on his racquet but he never allowed Djokovic to regain the lead.
On his sixth chance, Murray clinched the 87-minute set with a well-placed first serve that was returned long by Djokovic, ending the tie-break after 24 minutes – the longest in the history of the US Open final.
The British carried the momentum of his first-set win, racing to a 5-3 lead after Djokovic committed several errors.
But the Serbian regained his form, forcing a 5-5 deadlock before Murray held serve and broke Djokovic by winning six straight points.
Djokovic claimed the third set in 46 minutes behind his effective second serve, where he won 54 percent of his points compared to just 37 percent in the first set and just 22 percent in the second set.
Leading by 5-3 in the fourth set, Djokovic capitalized on Murray’s four errors to bounce back from a 15-40 deficit and level the match at 2-2 after 51 minutes of play.