Mike Groll/AP/Press Association Images
US Open

Murray blows away Berdych to reach US Open final

Andy Murray will face either Novak Djokovic or David Ferrer in Monday’s final after he beat Tomas Berdych in four sets.

OLYMPIC CHAMPION ANDY Murray, trying to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since 1936, withstood blustery conditions on Saturday to beat Tomas Berdych and reach the US Open final.

Third seed Murray advanced by defeating the Czech sixth seed 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) and will face either defending champion Novak Djokovic, the Serbian second seed, or Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer in Monday’s final.

“It was brutal,” Murray said, after a tornado warning had been issued earlier in the day.

“Some of the hardest conditions I have ever played in, and I come from Scotland so that’s saying something.”

Murray was left not knowing who he will face in the final after the other semi-final was suspended until Sunday with Ferrer ahead 5-2.

Trying to end a British men’s Slam drought dating to Fred Perry’s 1936 US title, the lanky 25-year-old Scotsman battled through brutal winds to reach his fifth career Grand Slam final, his second in a row after falling at Wimbledon.

After collecting an Olympic crown last month, avenging his Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer in the final, this might at last be Murray’s moment.

“I hope so,” Murray said. “You can never say for sure. I know how hard these tournaments are to win. When the conditions are like they were today anything can happen. You have to be there from the first point to the last.”

Murray and his coach, eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl, are the only Open-era players to drop their first four Grand Slam finals, Murray losing at the 2008 US Open, 2010 and 2011 Australian Opens and last June at Wimbledon.

Murray, also trying to become the first man to win the Olympic and US Open titles in the same year, will overtake Spain’s Rafael Nadal as world number three in Monday’s rankings.

This is the first Grand Slam event since the 2004 French Open without either Nadal or Roger Federer in the semi-finals. Nadal was absent with a knee injury while Swiss top seed Federer was ousted by Berdych in the quarter-finals.

With Scottish actor Sean Connery among those watching, Murray dominated the second set and broke Berdych at love to open the third set and again in the third and final games, then broke for a 2-0 lead in the fourth set.

Berdych, who will match his career-best ranking of sixth on Monday, broke back in the fifth game and they held to the tie-break, where Berdych took a 5-2 lead on a 129-mph ace but errors on the next three points pulled Murray even.

Murray, who lost four of six prior matches to Berdych, took advantage on his second match point to end it two minutes shy of four hours.

“I just tried to hang on and got through in the end,” Murray said.

(c) AFP, 2012

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