In the most exciting Cincinnati final in five years, Andy Murray defeated contemporary and great rival Novak Djokovic, 7-6, 7-6 on August 3, 2008, for his first Masters 1000 crown! The Briton made his Masters 1000 debut at Cincinnati 2005 at age 18, reaching the quarterfinals a year later and suffering an early loss in 2007 to Marcos Baghdatis.
Andy was in good shape during the summer of 2008, losing to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and Toronto before heading to Ohio for the most significant result of his career before reaching the first Major Final a few weeks later at the US Open.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray got off to a good start, while Roger Federer lost in the third round to Ivo Karlovic, who also reached the quarterfinals. Andy lost the first set to Carlos Moyá in the quarters before shifting to a higher gear, dominating in sets two and three to reserve the clash against the Croatian.
Murray beat Karlovic 6-4, 6-4 despite losing serve twice to advance to the first Masters 1000 final. Novak Djokovic found himself on the other side of the net after ending his 32-game winning streak. Nadal in the semifinal and beating all opponents in straight sets, chasing the fifth Masters 1000 crown and the third of the season after Indian Wells and Roma.
After two hours and 23 minutes of grueling battle, Murray defeated the Australian Open champion in two tiebreaks for the second victory over the Serbian in as many weeks after Toronto, in what had been their sixth meeting at the Masters 1000 level!
Novak Djokovic was still a heavy favorite
Novak Djokovic will go into the US Open having played only one tournament since winning Wimbledon. That one tournament was the Tokyo Olympics, where Djokovic lost the singles bronze medal match and pulled out of the mixed doubles playoff due to injury.
But Daniil Medvedev believes the Serb is still the firm favorite in New York since he has been "winning almost all the Grand Slams" lately. "Definitely, Novak is going to be the highest contender," Medvedev said.
"He's winning almost all the Grand Slams right now. He won already 20. He has experience. He has a level. I'm not gonna lie. So he's the man under pressure, but I think he likes it, as some guys under pressure can crack," the Russian added.
"That's not about Novak. So he's definitely the main contender. Talking about myself, first of all, if I meet Novak, it's good because it's going to be only in the final," Medvedev said. "That's the only possibility.
I'm going to try to do my best. If I manage to keep the level I'm playing at right now, I have good chances to go far."