US Open 2012: Can Late Bloomer Andy Murray Finally Win His 1st Grand Slam?

Martin BaldridgeCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2012

2008 U.S. Open finalist Andy Murray with champion Roger Federer.
2008 U.S. Open finalist Andy Murray with champion Roger Federer.Al Bello/Getty Images

He's reached the final of Grand Slams four times, including this year's Wimbledon, but can London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray go one step further and win his first major at the upcoming U.S. Open?

Murray first reached a Grand Slam final back in 2008, when at just 21 years old, he lost in straight sets to Roger Federer at the Open.

He subsequently lost in the 2010 and 2011 Australian Open finals to Federer and Novak Djokovic, respectively, also without winning a single set.  

But a month ago in the Wimbledon final, Murray won the first set against Federer, and held four break points in the second, which if he'd converted would have given him a two-set lead over the Swiss.

But there's a reason he's considered by many to be the greatest of all time, and having fended off the Scot's challenge, Federer emerged triumphant to win a record-equaling seventh Wimbledon title, his 17th Grand Slam overall.

Murray turned 25 years old in May this year, and if he were able to finally win his first Slam at the Open could be considered something of a late bloomer.

One man who certainly knows what it takes to win at Flushing Meadows is his coach Ivan Lendl.

Eight-time Grand Slam champion Lendl also lost four times in Slam finals before finally winning his first at the 1984 French Open at 24.

Lendl reached eight consecutive U.S. Open finals between 1982 and '89, winning the title in 1985, '86 and '87.

Murray's display in the Wimbledon final over Federer was truly exceptional.

His 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory in front of a highly partisan crowd makes him a serious contender in New York, where he won the junior title in 2004.

With defending champion Djokovic struggling to regain his form of 2011, and Rafael Nadal still recovering from a knee injury, Murray's main rivals would appear to be Federer and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.

Should be an interesting next month.