US Open 2012: Andy Murray wins historic final over Novak Djokovic


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US Open 2012: Andy Murray wins historic final over Novak Djokovic

24 years after a thrilling US Open final between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl that the Swede won in just under five hours, Andy Murray had won 2012 edition thanks to a 7-6 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 win over the defending champion Novak Djokovic in four hours and 54 minutes, lifting his first Grand Slam crown after losing the first four finals he played.

Four years earlier, Andy was halted in the title match by Roger Federer and he finally managed to go all the way in 2012 and become the first British Major winner since Fred Perry in 1936! A month earlier, Murray had won the Olympic gold medal at Wimbledon and this gave him a boost before the US Open, lifting three titles that season but two that carried a big value and that would define the rest of his career.

After commanding wins over Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Ivan Dodig, the Briton survived a stern test against Feliciano Lopez in just under four hours to enter the last 16. There, Andy scored a great win over Milos Raonic and he was in the title match after triumphs against Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych to set that Djokovic clash, their 15th on the Tour.

At the Olympics, Murray prevailed in two close sets in the semi-final and that gave him the confidence before the encounter in New York where he had to give his best in order to halt Novak after losing sets three and four.

After almost five hours of grueling battle and the momentum that had switched from one side to the other numerous times, Murray won five points more than Djokovic, preserving the energy for the deciding set where he broke Novak's resistance, adding his name on the special list of Grand Slam champions.

The Briton had the edge in the shortest points thanks to 37 service winners he hit compared to 29 from Novak, and we saw 35 break points in total to witness 17 breaks, nine for Novak and eight for Andy (both players struggled a lot to find the rhythm on a very windy day, in another final that had to be shifted to Monday due to rain).

Murray kicked off the match with a break at love when Novak sent a forehand long but the Serb pulled it back immediately thanks to a poor slice from Andy. Djokovic fought off four break points in game three to move ahead but he hit a double fault in game five to send his rival in front once again.

Novak broke back in game eight and he blasted a forehand down the line winner in the following game to secure the game at love and move 5-4 ahead. The set went into a tie break after three good holds and it was Djokovic who led 5-3 before Murray forced an error to stay in contention, taking the breaker 12-10 on his sixth set point after a mind-blowing hour and 27 minutes! Andy broke at love in the second game of the second set to create an early lead and he moved 3-0 up after another backhand error from Djokovic.

The Serb sent another backhand long and the Scot earned another break in game four to extend his dominance, looking good to finish the second set in style after the marathon opening set. Instead of that, Novak broke back in game five after a deep return and he saved a break point in the following game to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

A backhand cross court winner pushed Murray 5-2 in front but he played everything wrong in game nine while serving for the set, spraying a forehand error to keep Djokovic in the set. Novak held in game 10 after an amazing lob winner for a 5-5 but his efforts were in vain as Murray broke him again in game 12 to take the set 7-5 and move closer to the finish line.

With his back pushed against the wall, Djokovic refused to surrender and give his title away, breaking Murray in the third game of the third set and hitting a service winner to forge a 3-1 lead. Andy had two break points in game six but he failed to convert any of those, allowing Novak to go 4-2 in front after another unreturned serve and to break him again in game seven with a deep return, with the Serb serving for the set in the following game.

A smash winner at the net got the job done for Djokovic in the eighth game, taking the set 6-2 and looking much better than in the first two sets. He had the upper hand on the court now, breaking Murray at 15 in the opening game of the fourth set and moving 2-0 up with a forehand winner.

Murray saved a break point in game three but he netted a forehand in the next game on break point, missing a chance to go back to 2-2. Novak fired three winners in a row in game eight to stay ahead and he clinched the set 6-3 when he scored another break in game nine, standing as the favorite now to defend the title he won 12 months ago.

The match was already four hours and 11 minutes old when Andy broke at the start of the decider to stop his downfall, making a nice hold in game two to confirm the lead. The Briton had more energy preserved for the deciding set and he broke Novak again in the third game after a tired forehand from the Serb who managed to grab a break in the fourth game to at least reduce the deficit.

Four service winners gave Andy a much-needed easy hold for a 4-2 and he stole Novak's service game again a few minutes later for a 5-2, serving for the maiden Grand Slam crown in the game that followed. A service winner in the eighth game had delivered the match and the title for Murray, breaking the spell and adding his name to the historic list.

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