Andy Murray is back in the U.S. Open finals for the first time since 2008 after battling wind gusts and defeating Tomas Berdych in four sets on Saturday.
Murray awaits the winner of the Novak Djokovic-David Ferrer semifinal after winning 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 over the No. 6 seed. It wasn't an easy victory, but we've already seen Murray perform well with his back against the wall at Flushing Meadows.
This summer has been kind to Murray. After making it to the Wimbledon final in early July, he took home a gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
Now, after a tough quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic and Saturday's semifinal victory, he will seek to win his first Grand Slam event.
Let's recap this match, check in with the Twitter universe and talk about his upcoming finals match.
How it Happened
Murray dropped a tough first set, before bouncing back to win the next three.
Berdych had 19 unforced errors in the first set, but his ability to attack the net was the difference. Murray only approached the net eight times, but didn't make much happen in the process.
The next three sets were a different story.
Murray didn't come to the net more in the second, but his first serve was deadly accurate. He put 11-of-15 in play and had 13 winners in the second stanza. He didn't adjust his game, but he was more efficient from the baseline.
That trend continued in the third set, but Murray was even more dominant. He won 6-1 behind 11 unforced errors from Berdych. He put all 12 of his first serves in play, forcing Berdych to play on his heels.
By the fourth set, Murray had seized control of the match. Berdych didn't go away lightly, but his unforced errors were the difference again. It's tough to beat a player of Murray's caliber with 22 unforced errors in a single set.
Murray wasn't perfect, but he was the better player on Saturday. He must be this good, or better, if he wants to win the final.
Daily Mail correspondent Mike Dickson gave some background on Murray's Grand Slam career:
Andy Murray's last 8 Grand Slams: 3 finals, 4 semis and a quarter: superb consistency in this era. Now world no. 3.
— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) September 8, 2012
BBC reporter David Law spoke to a specific incident from the match:
Murray lost his hat after a serve. He was awarded the point, but Berdych claimed the hat distracted him. Instead of taking the point, Murray allowed it to be replayed, and Berdych was awarded the point.
Champion or not, that's a classy move for sure.
What to Expect in the Finals
Murray will have his hands full either way. Ferrer's athleticism makes him a tough out every time, and Djokovic is arguably the world's best hard-court player.
He's defeated Djokovic six times in his career, but the U.S. Open is a different animal. Djokovic is the defending champion, and he will be intent on retaining his crown.
Ferrer hasn't been this far since he made the semifinals in 2007. If he reaches the finals, you can bet that he will be hungry.
Murray is playing exceptionally well right now. With Roger Federer out of the mix, he is Djokovic's biggest competition.
He is playing focused, and there's no doubt how bad he wants it. No matter who he faces in the final, this match won't disappoint.
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