2012 US Open Tennis Men’s Championship: Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray

2012 US Open Tennis Championship
Men’s Final
#2 Novak Djokovic (-265) vs #3 Andy Murray (+215)
All Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Monday, September 10, 2012, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
USTA National Tennis Center – Flushing Meadows, New York

Novak Djokovic is favored to beat Andy Murray in the US Open Final Monday. Djokovic is the defending champion and is looking for his 6th career Grand Slam title.

Andy Murray is the best player in this generation to have never won a major tournament, something I am quite sure he is tired of hearing. He has come close losing in the final of four majors, but he lost 3 times to Roger Federer (including at Wimbledon this year) and once to Novak Djokovic. Murray did win an Olympic gold medal in this summer’s London games by beating Federer in the gold medal match.

Monday afternoon, Murray gets his fifth shot at the elusive major he is so desperately seeking. The #3 seeded Murray will take on defending US Open champion #2 Djokovic. The final was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon but bad weather on Saturday forced most of one semifinal and the women’s final to  Sunday. The men’s final was moved to Monday for the fifth straight year.

Murray is 25 from Scotland. Murray is 46-11 with titles at the Olympics and Brisbane. He has runner-ups at Wimbledon, Miami, and Dubai. Murray made to the semifinals at the Australian and quarters at the French this year.

Murray was the runner up in the U.S. Open in 2008, and made the semifinals here last year. At this year’s Open  he has victories over Alex Bogomolov, Jr., Ivan Dodig, #30 Feliciano Lopez, #15 Milos Raonic, and #12 Marin Cilic in the quarters to get back to the semifinals. Lopez and Cilic each took a set off Murray. Murray had to win all three of his sets against Lopez in a tiebreaker.

Murray beat #6 Tomas Berdych in the semifinals. Berdych had upset #1 Federer in the quarterfinals, but Murray beat Berdych in four sets Saturday afternoon 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7). The wind was blowing so hard at one point one of the changeover chairs blew onto the court, and Murray lost his hat at one point. The players actually had trouble tossing the ball in the air on their serves. The Scotsman Murray actually said it was the worst conditions he had ever played in, and that is saying something considering Scotland isn’t exactly known for it’s balmy weather. The match took just under 4 hours.

Murray had 5 aces and 3 double faults, and Berdych had 7 and 6. Murray won 73% on first serves and 57% on second serves, and Berdych won 60% and 48%. Murray converted 7/22 on break points and Berdych was 3 for 6. Murray had 37 winners and 20 unforced errors, and Berdych had 45 and 64.

Djokovic is 25 from Serbia. He is 59-10 this season with titles at the Australian Open, Miami, and Toronto. He was the runner-up at the French Open, Monte Carlo, Rome, and Cincinnati.

Djokovic is a 5 time major champion, and is the defending champion at the US Open. He has made the semifinals of the last 10 Grand Slam events, including Wimbledon this year. Djokovic also made the semifinals at the Olympics this year, held at the All-England Club where Wimbledon is held. He ended up losing in the semifinals at the Olympics to Andy Murray, and the bronze medal match to Juan Martin Del Potro.

Djokovic has wins over Paolo Lorenzi, Rogerio Dutra-Silva, #31 Julien Bennetteau, #18 Stanislas Wawrinka, and #7 Del Potro in the quarters. Djokovic didn’t drop a set on the way to the semifinals. Del Potro took him to a tiebreaker in one set, but otherwise no one won more than 4 games in any set against Djokovic.

Djokovic played #4 David Ferrer in the semifinals. The Match started Saturday evening, but Djokovic was upset at the playing conditions. Djokovic wasn’t in the match mentally, and Ferrer jumped out to a 5-2 lead before play was suspended until Sunday morning. Djokovic was a completely different player when the match resumed. He lost the first set 6-2, but completely dominated the next three sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to return to the US Open final. The match took three hours and one minute over the two days. Djokovic had 7 aces and a double fault, and Ferrer had one ace and 3 double faults. Djokovic won 72% on first serves and 59% on second serves, and Ferrer was at 64% and 46%. Djokovic converted 6 of 9 breakers and Ferrer was 3 for 7. Djokovic had 34 winners and 31 unforced errors, and Ferrer had 24 and 39.

This is the 15th meeting between Murray and Djokovic. Djokovic leads the series 8-6, but the two have split their 4 meetings in 2012. Djokovic beat Murray in a classic 5 set match that lasted 5 grueling hours in the semifinals of the Australian Open this year. Murray beat Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals of the Olympics. Djokovic beat Murray in straight sets in the final of the 2011 Australian Open. The two have never played each other at the US Open before this match.

This could be Murray’s best chance to win a major tournament. He doesn’t have to get past Federer or Rafael Nadal who hasn’t played since Wimbledon, and is out indefinitely with a knee injury. It won’t be easy to beat Djokovic who has won the last 3 majors on hard courts. The winner of this match has a good shot of being the world’s number one player at the end of the year if they have a strong finish. I like Djokovic in 5 tough sets, perhaps even a fifth set tiebreaker.

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