Djokovic Ends Nadal Streak; Meets Murray for Cincinnati Crown Today

Posted on August 3, 2008

Eighth seed Andy Murray challenges third-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic in the final of the Western Southern Financial Group Masters on Sunday in Cincinnati. Murray is bidding for his first ATP Masters Series shield, while fellow 21-year-old Djokovic is attempting to capture his fifth different ATP Masters Series shield in his sixth final (4-1). Djokovic is also trying to emulate Spaniard Carlos Moya, who didn’t drop a set en route to the 2002 title (d. Hewitt).

First-Time Cincinnati Titlists: Murray will either be the first player from Great Britain to win the singles title in Cincinnati history, or Novak Djokovic will be the first player from Serbia to win the title. Djokovic is the first Serbian to reach the final, but Murray is the third Brit to reach the final here (Henman in 2000 and Mark Cox in 1977).

Seeds Focus: Since seeding began in Cincinnati in 1927, a No. 8 seed has never won the title. Thirteen No. 3 seeds have won the title, the last being the former World No. 1 Pete Sampras in 1992.

Youngest Cincinnati Champions: Djokovic (born May 22, 1987) is only six days younger than Murray (born May 15, 1987). Either player will become the seventh youngest titlist in Cincinnati behind Boris Becker (17 years, 9 months in 1985), Mats Wilander (18 years, 11 months in 1983), Jimmy Connors (19 years, 11 months in 1973), Wilander (20 years, 5 days in 1984), Andy Roddick (20 years, 11 months in 2003) and Pete Sampras (21 years, 5 days in 1992).

British Players in AMS Finals: Murray, who is making his first appearance in an ATP Masters Series final, is hoping to become the third British player to capture an AMS title (since 1990). In 2000, his countryman Tim Henman also reached his first ATP Masters Series final in Cincinnati. Henman is also the last British player to win an AMS title at Paris in 2003.

First-Time AMS Titlist: Murray is attempting to become the 54th different player to capture an ATP Masters Series shield (since 1990). The last player to win his first Masters Series shield was Argentine David Nalbandian at Madrid (d. Federer) in November 2007. Nalbandian followed the success with the Paris title (d. Nadal) two weeks later.

2007-08 ATP Masters Series Finals – With Djokovic reaching the final, it marks the 16th straight ATP Masters Series tournament that one of the Big 3 (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) has reached the championship (winning 12 times).

All-Time AMS Title Leaders: Djokovic is attempting to capture his fifth different career ATP Masters Series shield in his sixth final (4-1). His AMS titles have come in 2007 Miami, 2007 Montreal, 2008 Indian Wells and 2008 Rome. He is one only three active players with four or more different ATP Masters Series shields – Roger Federer (6), Rafael Nadal (6). The all-time leader is Andre Agassi, who won seven different AMS shields (17 in total).

ATP Final Appearances This Season: Murray is appearing in his third ATP final of the season, having won titles in Doha in January and Marseille in February. This is the Scot's 10th career ATP final (5-4). Djokovic is contesting his fifth title-match this season (3-1), having won his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January and ATP Masters Series titles in Indian Wells in March and Rome in May. This is the Serb’s 15th career ATP final (10-4).

Record Vs. Top 10 Opponents: Murray has a 14-17 career record against Top 10 opponents (5-5 this year). He is 0-3 in ATP finals against Top 10 foes – '05 Bangkok (l. to No. 1 Federer), '07 Doha (l. to No. 5 Ljubicic) and '07 Metz (l. to No. 9 Robredo). Djokovic has a 14-26 career record against Top 10 opponents (5-7 this year). He is 1-3 in ATP finals against Top 10 foes – '07 Indian Wells (l. to No. 2 Nadal), '07 Montreal (d. to No. 1 Federer), '07 US Open (l. to No. 1 Federer), and '08 Queen's (l. to Nadal).

ATP Rankings Focus: Murray will climb from No. 9 to a career-high No. 6 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings regardless of the outcome today. Henman was the last British player at No. 6 on May 2, 2005. Djokovic will remain at No. 3, a position he first attained on July 9, 2007 and has held continuously since August 13, 2007. (ATP Digital Services)