Britain’s Andy Murray will contest his fifth Grand Slam final and second US Open final as he meets defending champion Novak Djokovic, who once again has looked a world apart from the rest (today, 9pm BST).
While Murray has toiled his way into the final, with some inspired play and the occasional tantrum, Djokovic has looked like the consummate professional and champion that he is, having only lost one set throughout the tournament.
For Djokovic, the US Open final gives him the chance to win a sixth Grand Slam title and a second in 2012 after he won the Australian Open.
This time last year, the Serbian world No.2 produced some of the best tennis ever seen in a Grand Slam to defeat Rafa Nadal in a match that will go down as one of the greatest major finals ever played.
For Djokovic, 2012 has been a bit of an up and down year, after capturing his third Australian Open title, he once again lost in the final of the French Open to Nadal, which ruined his dream of holding all four majors at the same time. What a remarkable achievement that would have been. Since losing in Paris, he lost in the semi-finals of both the Olympic Games and Wimbledon. Although he won an under strength Toronto Masters, he was recently thrashed in the final of the Cincinnati Masters by Roger Federer.
Djokovic has looked far happier to be back on the hard courts of North America. Although reaching two semi-finals on grass should be an achievement, for a player of his class it would have ultimately been a huge disappointment.
Back here in New York he only lost the first set of the tournament against David Ferrer in the semi-final. Djokovic won his first four matches without breaking sweat, and although Juan Martin Del Potro put up a decent fight he was still unable to take a set off the defending champion.
On the other hand, Murray has put in some indifferent performances and once again has kept his supporters on the edge of their seats. According to Murray, whatever happens in the final, he has had a great year. After winning the Olympic Gold medal on centre court after a jaw-dropping performance over Roger Federer, who could disagree. However Murray’s hard-nosed coach Ivan Lendl, may not be quite as happy to hear talk like that. This is Murray’s fifth Grand Slam final and it is probably time that he broke the hoodoo and finally won one.
It is Murray’s second Grand Slam final of 2012, and his second in a row, following his loss at Wimbledon to Federer. That final in SW19 saw Murray win a set in a major final for the first time.
With the hurricanes and turbulent weather having finally passed through New York, Murray will be happy that he has been able to have an extra day off compared to his opponent, especially against arguably the fittest player in the game. Murray lost the first set of both his quarter-final against Cilic and the semi against Berdych. Against Djokovic he will need an immaculate start.
Murray’s head-to-head record against Djokovic is not that bad, having won six out of their previous 14 matches. Djokovic has won both their previous meetings in Grand Slam finals, but Murray did win their last match, at the Olympic Games in straight sets.
On a day where Britain’s Olympians and Paralympians are cheered by millions through the streets of London by over a million people, it would be fitting for one of their missing gold medallists to finally capture one of his sport’s greatest prizes.
Murray v Djokovic Betting Tips Conclusion
Murray must start well, and winning that first set is paramount to his chances of becoming the first man outside the Nadal, Federer, Djokovic triopoly to win a major in three years.
This will be the twelfth major since Del Potro became the last ‘outsider’ to win a major, but having seen Djokovic destroy many a player at this tournament, Murray’s chances are slim.
Murray could really do with the strong winds from his semi-final returning, as he coped impeccably with them, but to beat the great Serb will be one hell of an achievement.
We expect the Scot to put up a bold fight but rely on the defending champion’s class to win through. Bet on Djokovic to win in five sets. The 3-2 set betting scoreline is best priced at 11/2 with William Hill online bookmaker.