US Open Tennis Men's Finals 2012: Andy Murray Wins Marathon over Novak Djokovic

Richard LangfordCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates after a point during his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Fifteen of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Andy Murray no longer has to worry about holding the dubious distinction of being the greatest player to never win a Grand Slam title, as he defeated world No. 2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (12), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. 

This highly entertaining and exceedingly grueling match nearly went five hours. 

It was clear from the early going that this was going to be a marathon match, as these two complete players went blow-for-blow. 

There was a 54-shot rally early in the first set, and plenty of rallies that exceeded 30 shots as the match went on. 

Fittingly, the first set went into a tie break, in which Murray prevailed, but not after that tie break broke a U.S. Open finals record for length, eclipsing the 20-minute mark. 

In the first set, Novak struggled to keep his footing, and even ended up switching shoes later in the match; he slipped several times while chasing down shots early in this one.  

Djokovic was also visibly bothered by the early high winds swarming this match. If it bothered Murray, you couldn't tell.

Djokovic opened up the second set looking rattled by the conditions and the heartbreaking tie-break loss. He was quickly behind, 4-0, but battled to tie it, 5-5. 

He won the first point of the next game and had firm control of all the momentum, as Djoker had won 13 of the last 16 points. Murray did not care about momentum. 

The Scot won the next three points and eventually won the game to go up, 6-5. 

Tied at 15 in the next game, Murray won a huge point on a 30-shot rally to take the lead, 30-15. On the next point, Djokovic had two overhead slams, but knocked the second one wide to lose the pivotal point, and Murray went on to claim the game and the set. 

This marked the first time that Murray had ever won more than a set in his five Grand Slam finals, but victory was not as close as it appeared.  

In the first game of the third set, Djokovic quickly had two break points. However, Murray began nailing his first serve on the wide line to battle back and ended the game, which was in deuce, with just his second ace of the match. 

For a lesser opponent, that would have been all she wrote—against Djokovic, it simply meant things were just getting started. 

Djokovic seized all control and momentum, as he won the next two sets with relative ease—although almost every point was hard fought. 

As the match went on, the wind died a bit, and Djokovic became more confident. He found success coming to the net and was doing so with much more frequency than his opponent. 

This match took more than four hours just to get through four sets. 

Murray opened the fifth set with a break, and it started to look like Djokovic had exerted too much energy trying to get back in the match. He began to lose accuracy and power on his serves.

The Scot took control of the fifth set and rolled to a 5-2 set lead when Djokovic needed the attention of the medical staff. Murray closed it out with his serve in the next game.

Murray joined John McEnroe as just the second person to win a U.S. Open final after winning the first two sets and losing the next two. 

More important than that, Andy Murray is now a Grand Slam champion.