Although the wind wasn’t as strong as in the first semifinal, Djokovic performed poorly in first twenty minutes of the match. He was visibly very irritated because he knew entering the court that the weather forecast had been awful. Ferrer led with a double break when tournament’s supervisor said to players about leaving the court because a tornado was coming… The play was resumed on the following day at 11 a.m. Djokovic was fully concentrated, and his supremacy couldn’t be questioned despite Ferrer won the opening game which established a 1-0 lead for him. There were punishing rallies with 20+ strokes won by both guys in the second and third sets, but they affected physical fitness of the Spaniard much more (he’d spent six hours longer on courts than Djokovic before their semifinal clash). He rallied from 0:2 to 3:2* in the 3rd set, however, it was the last moment of the match when his potential triumph could be considered. As the Serbian defending champion raced to a 4:0 lead in the last set, he didn’t even bother to fight in Ferrer’s last service games. Djokovic moves to the US Open final third year in succession, Ferrer becomes the second best (# behind Tim Henman) in terms of number of semifinals played at majorsnot having a final appearance. “It’s a great relief obviously to get it over with in four sets,” said Djokovic. “As well I was a different player. I felt much more comfortable on the court today than I did yesterday. Obviously the conditions were more brutal for all of us who played yesterday.”
# Most semifinals at majors without a final:
6 – Tim Henman (Wimbledon 1998, 99, 01, 02; Roland Garros 2004; US Open 2004) 4 –David Ferrer(US Open 2007, 12; Australian Open 2011; Roland Garros 2012) 4 – Sebastien Grosjean (Australian Open 2001; Roland Garros 2001; Wimbledon 2003, 04) 4 –Nikolay Davydenko (Roland Garros 2005, 07; US Open 2006, 07) 4 –Tommy Haas(Australian Open 1999, 02, 07; Wimbledon 2009) 3 – Roger Taylor (Wimbledon 1970, 73; Australian Open 1970) 3 – John Alexander (Australian Open 1973, 77, 77) 3 – Hank Pfister (Australian Open 1978, 81, 82) 3 – Raul Ramirez (Roland Garros 1976, 77; Wimbledon 1976) 3 – Cliff Richey (Roland Garros 1970; US Open 1970, 72) 3 – Tom Gorman (Wimbledon 1971; US Open 1972; Roland Garros 1973)
It was ugly match (delayed one and a half hours due to rain) under very difficult conditions: hot day (27 Celsius), airplanes in the air, strong wind (15-20 mph). In consequence of the wind, strange things happened: Murray served one ace just 88 mph (141 km/h), at his other serve the wind blew his bag and chair onto the court, Berdych’s serves twice landed outside the baseline… Murray was struggling to find a proper rhythm in the 1st set, he was playing mainly slices from both sides (!), anyway led 2:1 with a break when he saved a break point with a dropshot, but his cap dropped down off his head before the second bounce and the point must have been replayed. This situation aroused a small quarrel between the players around Pascal Maria’s umpire chair. The more solid Berdych broke back after the replay, eight games afterwards converted his second set point with a huge forehand to take the 77-minute opener, but when the 2nd set started, the wind was stronger, and Murray was better adjusted – he found the right timing to play forehand top-spins. Berdych in turn completely lost his ball-toss and regular breaking him seemed easy for the Scot without special involvement. The Czech proposed a plan-B at the beginning of the 4th set though, trying serve-and-volley, and it was the right tactics. He escaped from a *0:3 (15/40) and levelled at three games apiece, he did it three times more in that set. It’s unbelievable that Murray always wins 4th set leading 2-sets-to-1 when the scoreline reaches a tie-break #. This time he trailed in the breaker 0:3, 1:4*, 2:5, but somehow managed to get back, saved a set point at 5:6 with a backhand contre pie and won the last two points of the semifinal after Berdych’s unforced errors. Murray returns to the US Open final after a 4-year break. “[The wind] was really, really tough one,” Berdych stated the obviousness, “He dealt with that much better than I did.” Two most famous Scots: actor Sean Connery (b. 1930) and football manager Alex Ferguson (b. 1941) appeared on Murray’s post-match press conference. Murray’s mother Judy said on Ferguson, “He’s just been telling me that Scotland invented the world.” Stats of the match.
# Murray’s 4-set wins with a 4th set tie-break:
US Open 2008: M.Llodra 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(7) Ausralian Open 2011: D.Ferrer 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, 7-6(2) Wimbledon 2011: I.Ljubicic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) US Open 2011: J.Isner 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) Wimbledon 2012: I.Karlovic 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6(4) Wimbledon 2012: D.Ferrer 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) US Open 2012: F.Lopez 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6(4) US Open 2012: T.Berdych 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(7)