Third-seeded Andy Murray swept into the men’s final at the U.S. Open with a blustery four-set victory today against No. 6 Tomas Berdych that was delayed by rain and bedeviled by wind.
The second semifinal was halted in the first set with fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain leading 5-2 against defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia because of approaching severe weather, and the women’s final set for tonight was delayed until tomorrow afternoon.
The men’s final was rescheduled for Sept. 10, the fifth straight year the tournament has been pushed into a third week by bad weather at the National Tennis Center in New York.
“We’re getting very tired of having Monday finals,” tournament director David Brewer said in a news conference.
The Djokovic-Ferrer semifinal is set to resume at 11 a.m. local time tomorrow, with the women’s final between top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and three-time champion Serena Williams set to begin at 4:30 p.m.
The men’s final is now scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Sept. 10.
Murray, 25, of Britain will play in his second U.S. Open final after defeating Berdych, 26, of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) in a match that lasted almost four hours. Murray was runnerup to Switzerland’s Roger Federer in 2008.
Murray is trying to become the first British man to capture a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1936.
“Winning a major is the last thing that I really want to do,” Murray, who won gold at the London Olympics, said in a news conference. “Yeah, it means a lot to me.”
The Murray-Berdych semifinal started more than an hour late because of rain and a tornado warning. Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) forced the men to play tentatively and take much of the pace off their shots.
“It was brutal,” Murray said in a televised interview. “Some of the hardest conditions I’ve ever played in, for sure, and I come from Scotland, so that’s saying something.”
It seemed to have more of an impact on Berdych, who has one of the highest ball tosses on his serve. After hitting a serve at 137 mph earlier in the tournament, he hit first serves as slow as 77 mph today and had six double faults while losing seven of his 20 service games.
The swirling wind sent napkins and plastic bags from the stands floating above the players, and a point had to be stopped when Murray’s chair and gym bag blew onto the court.
Up a service break at 2-1 in the first set and facing break point while serving, Murray’s hat was blown off as he hit a drop shot that Berdych was unable to reach.
Chair umpire Pascal Maria at first awarded Murray the point. Berdych then complained that the fallen hat distracted him, hindering his attempt to play the drop shot, and that the point should be replayed.
During an exchange at the net, Murray asked Berdych several times if he was “100 percent sure” that he was hindered. When Berdych said he was, Murray agreed to replay the point and had his serve broken. He went on to lose the set, and played the rest of the match without the hat.
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