Twenty four years after a thrilling US Open final between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl that the Swede won in just under five hours, Andy Murray claimed the title in 2012 after a 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 triumph over the defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The encounter lasted four hours and 54 minutes, with Murray lifting his first Major crown after losing the first four finals he entered. Four years earlier, Andy lost in the title match to Roger Federer, fixing that in 2012 and becoming the first British Major winner since Fred Perry in 1936, leaving the previous finals behind him and prevailing against Novak to write the British tennis history!
A month earlier, Murray claimed the Olympic gold medal at Wimbledon, which gave him a boost before the US Open, lifting three titles that season and two that carried a significant value and defined 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 victory over Milos Raonic and was in the title match after triumphs against Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych, setting the 15th clash against Novak.
At the Olympics, Murray prevailed against the Serb in two close sets in the semi-final, gathering boost for the New York encounter where he had to give his best to halt Novak after dropping sets three and four. After almost five hours of grueling battle and the momentum switching from one side to the other numerous times, Murray won five points more than Djokovic.
He preserved the energy for the deciding set to break Novak's resistance, adding his name on the exclusive list of Major champions. The Briton had the edge in the shortest points thanks to 37 service winners in comparison to 29 from Novak, with unreal 35 break chances in total and 17 breaks, nine for Novak and eight for Andy.
They both 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. Andy kicked off the match with a break at love when Novak sent a forehand long, and the Serb pulled it back immediately thanks to a poor slice from Murray to level the score.
Djokovic fought off four break chances in game three to move ahead, hitting a double fault two games later to send his rival in front once again. Novak pulled the break back at 3-4 and blasted a forehand down the line winner in the next game to hold 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 an hour and 27 minutes!
Andy broke at love in the second game of the second set to create an early lead and moved 3-0 up after another backhand error from Djokovic, who struggled to find his shots in those moments. The Serb sent another backhand long, and the Briton broke again in game four to extend his dominance, looking good to finish the second set in style after the marathon opener.
At the US Open 2012, Andy Murray claimed the first Major title.
Instead of that, Novak broke back in game five after a deep return and erased a break chance in the next one to reduce the deficit to 4-2. A backhand crosscourt winner pushed Murray 5-2 in front before doing everything wrong in game nine while serving for the set, spraying a forehand error to keep Djokovic in the set.
Novak held at 4-5 after a fantastic lob winner, although his efforts were in vain as Murray grabbed a break 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 could have pulled the break back in game six after two break chances, allowing Novak to go 4-2 in front thanks to an unreturned serve and grab another break, serving for the set. 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, keeping the title defense hopes alive.
The Serb had the upper hand on the court now, breaking Murray at 15 in the fourth set's opening game and moving 2-0 up with a forehand winner, hitting the right zone and having the edge over the opponent in those moments.
Murray saved a break chance in game three before netting a forehand a few minutes later on his break point, missing an opportunity to level the score at 2-2. Novak fired three winners in a row in game eight to stay ahead and clinched the set 6-3 with another break, standing as the favorite to cross the finish line first.
The encounter was already four hours and 11 minutes long when Andy broke at the beginning of the decider, ending his downfall and making an excellent hold in game two to confirm the lead. The Briton had more energy left in the tank for the final set, proving that again in the third game with another break after a tired forehand from the Serb who managed to grab a break in the fourth game and reduce the deficit.
Four service winners gave Andy a much-needed comfortable hold for a 4-2 advantage, stealing Novak's service game again a few minutes later to move closer to the finish line, serving for the first Major crown in the game that followed.
In the eighth game, a service winner delivered the victory and the title for Murray, breaking the spell and making the most significant step in a career up to that point.