So who picked Andy Murray to win that one? I did. I was wrong. Very wrong. Murray, who had looked like a world beater in wins over Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro this last week, was no match today for Roger Federer in the delayed US Open final, with the Swiss easily prevailing 6-2, 7-5, 6-2.
Federer, who was playing in his very first hardcourt final of the year, cleaned up his game and really destroyed Murray to pick up his fifth straight US Open crown and his first Slam title of the year.
The match was never in much doubt from the get go with Fed jumping out early with an easy first set behind a couple of breaks and strong serving numbers.
The second set got a little more interesting as Murray, a three-time winner on the cement in 2008, began to play better even breaking Federer, and had the Scot challenged on a crucial break chance who knows?
And the third set was all for Federer, who evened the series with Murray 2-2 after losing two straight.
I thought Federer moved exceptionally well and his ball striking was spot-on. Murray, meanwhile, looked like a guy playing in his first Slam final. Edgy, uncertain and out of sorts, with a lot of that having to do with Federer’s level. Murray also was troubled perhaps by a knee he tweaked in the second set.
But in the end Roger was simply just the better player today. Reports of his demise…well, you know the rest.
Murray of course was trying to become the British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Major. And he’ll have many more chances and eventually I think he’ll break through.
With Slam No. 13, Federer shuts up the critics for the time being and puts Pete Sampras and his plane(?) on notice come January as Rog now stands just one behind Pete’s mighty mark. And while he’s not likely to finish the year No. 1, the win sends a clear message to the rest of the field that Fed’s run is not done yet.
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