US Open Tennis
Published: 11:33 07/09/2012
Andy Murray faces a big challenge on Saturday as he takes on 6ft 5in Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows. The Czech is in terrific form and decisively defeated the World Number 1 seed, Roger Federer, in four sets to reach the semi-finals. He also has a great record against Murray, having won 4 of the six matches they have played together, including 2 of the 3 clay court matches.
Murray’s own performances in the tournament have been patchy. In his quarter-final against Marin Cilic, he started badly and Cilic was leading by a set and with two breaks ahead before his performance crumbled to allow the Scot back into the game. He acknowledges that “I can’t afford to start like I did against Cilic that’s for sure”, further commenting that World Number 7 Cilic “is a huge, huge hitter of the ball. Even if you want to dictate points and be aggressive, he can take that away from you because he’s such a powerful guy. You need to be smart against him. You need to use good variation and try not to give him the same ball over and over because he likes that”.
Neither Murray nor Berdych has won a Grand Slam final although both have been finalists, Murray at the US Open in 2008 and Berdych at Wimbledon two years ago. Both men are ready for battle on Saturday with Berdych confidently saying “if my game is well and I’m able to play it then I have a dangerous game to beat anyone”.
The bookmakers reckon that Andy Murray will have the edge and, indeed still offer favourable odds that he will win the tournament itself with Boylesports offering best odds at 5/2.
But, hang on, Andy Murray. A win over Berdych would just be half the job done, as another competitor will playing for a win at the Final. And that player could well be Serbian Novak Djokovic, who will play Spaniard David Ferrer in the other Semi-Final on Saturday. The defending champion is in exceptional form and played a fantastic match against former US Open Champion Juan del Potro in the Quarter-Finals, winning 6-2, 7-6, 6-4. David Ferrer, seeded number 4 for the tournament, will have to produce a spectacular performance to win through to the Final and the bookmakers are not hopeful about his chances.
The Semi-Finals of the US Open will offer a major treat for tennis fans everywhere on Saturday, and there is a sense of eager anticipation from the players themselves. Let’s hope that Andy Murray does indeed play smart against Tomas Berdych and win through to Sunday’s Final.