Can Andy Murray win his maiden Grand Slam?

The 25-year-old Olympic champion takes on world number two Novak Djokovic in tonight's US Open final

British tennis fans are getting rather used to seeing Andy Murray in major finals. First there was Wimbledon where tennis mixed with tears, but a month later he was back on Centre Court, stealing the Olympic title from under Roger Federer’s nose. Finally the home crowd had a champion to cheer.


Fast-forward two months across the pond and Murray is in the US Open final for a second time. The mighty Swiss may have fallen unexpectedly to Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals, but the calibre of the Brit’s opponent when he steps out into the Arthur Ashe arena is no less formidible.

Novak Djokovic – Murray’s friend and childhood rival – may have taken his foot off the ignition during the Scotsman’s straight sets Olympic semi-final victory last month but don’t underestimate his form coming into tonight’s showdown. The Serb has played superbly throughout the tournament, picking off class opposition and dropping just a set to Juan Martin del Potro along the way. He is playing in his third consecutive final at Flushing Meadows and hasn’t lost a match in a hard-court major tournament in two years – the sort of stats we expect of Roger Federer.

In comparison, the 25-year-old Scotsman is yet to win a Slam, having played in four major finals, only to see his hopes of victory go begging. Their head-to-head falls in Djokovic’s favour – of their fourteen matches he has won eight. But this season’s partnership with coach Ivan Lendl (an eight-time Grand Slam victor himself) has seen a new Murray – a tennis player with the belief that he’s capable of landing the prize.

With his Olympic victory still fresh in his memory, Murray finally exudes the confidence of a champion: “Winning the Olympics did, for me, take a bit of the pressure off. I did feel a lot better after that. I maybe had less doubts about myself and my place in the game just now.

“But winning a major is the last thing that I really want to achieve. I know that on Monday I’m going to give everything I have on the court. That’s all I can do.”

And of his opponent? “Obviously it will be an unbelievably tough match. He moves very well on hard courts. He’s a top, top player, one of the best that’s played. The year he had last year is incredible.”

“It’s obviously not easy to lose another slam final, so I hope this one is a different story.” So do we, Andy, so do we….


Coverage of Andy Murray’s US Open final begins on Sky Sports 1 at 8:00pm. If you don’t have Sky, you can listen to commentary on Radio 5 Live, also starting at 8:00pm.