Djokovic v Murray Men’s Final; Serena, Bryans, Errani/Vinci Win at US Open
The men’s final is yet to be played, but the remainder of the pro titles have been claimed at the US Open as of Sunday.
David Ferrer took advantage of windy conditions Saturday to take a 5-2 lead in the first set in the semifinals, then on the resumption Sunday closed the first set out, but then Novak Djokovic ran through the Spaniard 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the final against Andy Murray.
Djokovic will face Murray on 4 p.m. Monday, when few will be watching compared to if the USTA scheduled a prime time match-up.
“It’s a great relief obviously to get it over with in four sets,” Djokovic said. “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…Ferrer was I think coping with the conditions much better than I did. He was handling it great. I didn’t find any rhythm, so I didn’t mind getting off the court yesterday, to be honest, and coming in today.”
Djokovic leads the career head-to-head with Murray 8-6, but the pair has split their four meetings this year. Most recently Murray beat Djokovic at the London Olympics.
“Most of our matches that we played against each other were very close, and only small margins decide the winner,” Djokovic said. “That’s something that is expected in a way, because we have similar games. We are big rivals and we have been in top of the men’s game for a long time, so we know each other really well…Tomorrow I guess there is no clear favorite.”
In the women’s singles final Sunday, world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka served for the match in the third set, but was unable to put away Serena Williams who triumphed 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Azarenka led 5-3 and was within two points of victory with Williams serving at 30-all, but Williams won 10 of the next 12 points, then broke Azarenka again for her 15th Slam title.
“Oh my God. I honestly can’t believe I won,” Williams said in an on-court interview. “I was really prepared for my runner-up speech, because she was playing so great. I’m really shocked right now.”
Azarenka was conciliatory in her on-court remarks.
“Serena really deserved to win. She showed how true of a champion she is, and I’m honored to stand with such a champion,” Azarenka said. “At the moment it’s tough but I gave it my all, and stepping off this court I will have no regrets.”
Williams’ four US Open titles trails her five Australian Opens and five Wimbledons, in addition to her one Roland Garros crown in 2002.
Azarenka retains the No. 1 ranking, but drops to 1-1 in career Slam finals.
In the men’s doubles finals the American Bryan brothers won the crown, and the Italian pair of Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci claimed the women’s title.
The No. 2-seeded Bryans defeated No. 5 seeds Leander Paes and Radek “The Worm” Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 to break the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam team titles, passing Aussies Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde and tying Aussies John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the all-time record.
“When you’re in the heat of the moment you don’t want to think about that stuff. We’re just trying to win the Grand Slam,” Mike Bryan said. “And now that we could chill a little bit, it’s fun to have it. We looked up to the Woodies, and to steal all their records is unbelievable, because we idolize those guys.”
The Bryans avenged a loss to Paes/Stepanek in the Aussie Open final, and with the win equaled Robert Lutz and Stan Smith’s Open Era record with four US Open team titles.
In the women’s doubles final the No. 2-seeded Errani/Vinci topped No. 3-seeded Czechs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-2.
It was the eighth title this year for the Italians, who also won at Roland Garros.
“It’s a dream come true,” Errani said. “Roberta and I have played amazing all year — making the final in Australia and winning in Paris, and winning so many matches on clay. We’ve done well on every surface. This is an amazing achievement for us — we hope to continue.”
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
According to Google News, Yahoo! Sports ran a story with the opening “The Williams sisters did everything Americans have asked minorities to do, work hard, don’t take handouts, and stay out of trouble,” before an “UPDATE” headline changed the story on the website (but not on the cached Google News page)…Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, the former No. 1-ranked doubles player now coaching Mardy Fish, announced his official retirement during the 2012 US Open…RIP US Open Super Saturday: you gave us thrills, you gave us chills, you gave us Monday finals and tired players. Next year a permanent Monday men’s final? But in prime time?
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