WASHINGTON, September 10, 2012 — It may not be the clash of Titians, but the mano a mano between Scotsman Andy Murray and Serb Novak Djokovic certainly provided some great moments at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, before Murray defeated Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in a nearly five hour marathon.
The defending champion Djokovic was expected to handily dispatch Murray, but the Scot had other plans. Coming off his big win at the Olympics, where he took the Gold Medal, he was in fine form and more than ready for whatever Djokovic could hurl his way.
Looking frustrated and even harried, Djokovic had obviously lost his rhythm in the first two sets, unable to devastate Murray with his crosscourt forehand. Worse yet, he was making errors and found himself sprawling on the clay. Once again the wind seemed to throw him off his game as it had done on Saturday before the tornado shut down the tournament. Djokovic lost his focus as though he were caught in cross currents.
Meanwhile, Murray was playing a patient, steady game, not unnerved by the wind or his own errors. It was as though he had a bigger picture in mind, win the Open and pocket the $1.1 million purse.
Then in the 3rd and 4th sets, Djokovic regained his composure and regained his winning streak, pounding out fairly easy wins over Murray, who now seemed rattled and more than once showing flashes of irritation with himself.
Then it was down to the last and deciding set. Immediately Murray steadied himself, after two disappointing sets and found his inner core, taking control of the court to dispatch Djokovic with an ease that seemed unbelievable coming right after the earlier losses and breaking Djokovic’s serve three times.
Murray must be singing, “How sweet it is.” He is the first British player to become a Grand Slam champion in 76 years since 1936. Add that to his Gold Medal, which he won the hard way by defeating Roger Federer who was then seeded No. 1, and Murray can brag that he is truly the male Player of the Year.
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