The U.S. Open went all Key Largo yesterday, with heavy winds turning the Andy Murray-Tomas Berdych men’s semifinal into a game of Wiffle Tennis.
NEW YORK — Dealing with 20 mph wind that blew a changeover chair onto the U.S. Open court on one point and yanked his hat off during another, Andy Murray navigated his way into his fifth Grand Slam final.
Now he’ll try to win his first Grand Slam title — and first for any British man in 76 years.
Adapting to the conditions far better than his opponent did, Olympic champion Murray came back to beat mistake-prone Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7) in a rain-delayed and wind-swept U.S. Open semifinal Saturday.
“It was brutal,” Murray said about his 3-hour, 58-minute victory. “Hard to describe. You had to focus for every single point. … Some of the hardest conditions I’ve ever played in, for sure, and I come from Scotland, so that’s saying something.”
Then again, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay tweeted:
Minutes after Murray and Berdych had finished, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer were on the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the other men’s semifinal. And in a replay of the former match, Ferrer adapted much better to the windy conditions than Djokovic, who fell into a snit-filled 5-2 deficit . . . until play was suspended until this morning at 11.
Tough break for Ferrer, who should have at least been given the chance to serve out the set before the Open officials shut it down.
Ferrer’s an admirable player who never takes his foot off the accelerator. Just hope he doesn’t get blown away by Gale Force Novak today.