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Tennis
Gutsy Murray wins in gusty New York
Britain's Andy Murray is the first man through to the U.S. Open final with a four-set victory over Czech Tomas Berdych.
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2012 21:39
Can Andy Murray make it fifth time lucky in a Grand Slam final? [AFP]

Olympic champion Andy Murray, who is trying to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since 1936, withstood blustery conditions on Saturday to beat Tomas Berdych and reach the U.S. Open final.

Third seed Murray advanced by defeating the Czech sixth seed 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) and will face either defending champion Novak Djokovic, the Serbian second seed, or Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer in Sunday's final.

Ferrer was 5-2 up in the first set of his semi-final against Djokovic before the match was haulted after a tornado warning had been issued earlier in the day.   

The women's final between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams was delayed until Sunday as bad weather conditions prolong the tournament. 

"It was brutal," Murray said.

"Some of the hardest conditions I have ever played in, and I come from Scotland so that's saying something."

Murray owns a 6-5 career record aginst Ferrer but trails Djokovic 6-8 in their all-time rivalry.

"Some of the hardest conditions I have ever played in, and I come from Scotland so that's saying something"

Andy Murray

Trying to end a British men's Slam drought dating to Fred Perry's 1936 US title, the lanky 25-year-old Scotsman battled through brutal winds to reach his fifth career Grand Slam final, his second in a row after falling at Wimbledon.

After collecting an Olympic crown last month, avenging his Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer in the final, this might at last be Murray's moment.

"I hope so," Murray said.

"You can never say for sure. I know how hard  these tournaments are to win. When the conditions are like they were today anything can happen. You have to be there from the first point to the last."

Murray and his coach, eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl, are the only Open-era players to drop their first four Grand Slam finals, Murray losing at the 2008 US Open, 2010 and 2011 Australian Opens and last June at Wimbledon.

Despite wicked breezes, Murray connected on 74 percent of his first serves and won 73 percent of those points while making only 20 unforced errors to 64 for Berdych.

"The wind blew it away for me," Berdych said.

"It was really hard to play a passing shot in this kind of weather, but on the other hand, it was also tough not to make mistakes and be aggressive."

Wind gusts whipped the net and players' clothing, played havoc with many serve tosses, blew food wrappers across the court to foil several points and even sent Murray's chair and racquet bag onto the playing area late in the second set.

"You had to focus for every single point. You had to get in position for every shot. You weren't going for aces because it was hard enough to get the second serves in," said Murray.

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