Andy Murray, seeking to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament in 76 years, captured the first two sets of a wind-swept U.S. Open final 7-6 (12-10), 7-5 against defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
After Murray won the first-set tiebreaker on his sixth set point, he took a 4-0 lead in the second set by breaking Djokovic’s serve twice. The second-seeded Djokovic stormed back to win five of the next six games, only to have the third-seeded Murray break his serve again in the 12th game to win the set.
There were four service breaks in the first eight games of the opening set as the players tried to adjust to the swirling 16 mile-per-hour (26 kilometer-per-hour) wind. Playing tentatively instead of going for winners, the two men exchanged 54 strokes on one point in the sixth game of the 87-minute set. The tiebreaker lasted 24 minutes.
The 2-5 betting favorite heading into today’s match, Djokovic has never lost to a lower-seeded player in seven appearances at the season’s final Grand Slam event.
Murray, 25, who beat Djokovic, 25, en route to his gold medal at the London Olympics last month, came into the match with an extra day of rest after Djokovic’s semifinal match was pushed to yesterday due to wind and rain.
It is the fifth straight year that the U.S. Open men’s final has been held on a Monday after a 21-year run of on-time finishes.