2014/07/30

USTA Reports US Open Attendance Over 700,000 for Fifth Time

FROM THE USTA -FLUSHING, N.Y., September 12, 2012 – The USTA today announced that the 2012 US Open, driven by two of the most compelling singles finals in the tournament’s 131 years, was one of the most successful years in the tournament’s history.  Total attendance topped 700,000 for the fifth time finishing at 710,803.

 

Television viewership of the three-set women’s singles final featuring Serena Williams defeating Victoria Azarenka on CBS Sports was the highest since 2002, with 17.7 million viewers watching all or part of the match.  The men’s five-set thriller where Andy Murray captured his first Grand Slam victory by defeating Novak Djokovic was seen by 16.2 million viewers on CBS Sports, the most viewers to watch a men’s singles final since 2007.  This year’s was broadcast in 180 countries around the world, and aired on CBS Sports, ESPN and Tennis Channel in the U.S.

 

The tournament’s official website, USOpen.org, generated more than 325 million page views and was accessed by more than 11.7 million visitors worldwide; the fourth consecutive year unique visitors have topped 10 million. More than 2.8 million hours of free live streaming was viewed by fans domestically.  The free streaming was available across computers, mobile devices and tablets.

 

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US Open Finals & Andy Roddick Tribute on ESPN Classic

ESPN Classic will air the US Open Finals as “Instant Classics” today, Tuesday, Sept. 11, starting at 5 p.m. ET  The Women’s Final – Serena Williams earning her 15th Major championship in a three-set thriller over top-ranked Victoria Azarenka – will be seen first, followed at 8 p.m. by a five-hour telecast of the Men’s Final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.  Murray captured his first Major victory by edging the defending champion in a five-set marathon.

In addition, ESPN Classic will pay tribute to the now-retired Andy Roddick with an 18-hour, five-match marathon of great matches starting Wed., Sept. 12, at noon.  The schedule includes his 2003 US Open semifinal and final and the epic 2009 Wimbledon Final against Roger Federer:

 

Date Time (ET) Match
Wed, Sept 12 Noon 2003 Australian Open: Roddick vs El Ayanoui
  5 p.m. 2009 Wimbledon Final: Roddick vs Federer
  10 p.m. 2003 US Open Semifinal: Roddick vs Nalbandian
Thur, Sept 13 1 a.m. 2003 US Open Final: Roddick vs Ferrero
  3 a.m. 2012 US Open: Roddick vs Del Potro

 

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For the Netheads, there’s only one Andy Roddick

The retirement of Andy Roddick resulted in a moment of reflection for the Netheads, the group which has been following and supporting the US Davis Cup team since 2001, since without Andy Roddick, there would be no Netheads.

 

The founder of the Netheads was a teammate with Andy’s brother John at the University of Georgia.  When Andy was named to the Davis Cup team, a decision was made to follow John’s younger brother.  Little did that initial group of three Netheads, cheering for Andy in Winston- Salem shortly after 9/11, realize the Netheads would be cheering Andy for the next 10 years.

 

Andy has always been an easy player to cheer.  It starts with a simple thing, such as a two syllable name making for more rhythmic cheers (e.g. let’s go Andy, Here we go Andy).  Add to that the booming serve, which has usually resulted in a substantial ace count (as high as 39 in a match against Tursunov in Moscow), almost always exceeding his opponent.   Last, but not least, cheering for a winning player is always easier and Andy gave us so many victories to cheer.  But even in his defeats, he was giving his all, which caused the Netheads to give their all, trying to help pull him through.

 

I just finished reviewing Andy’s Davis Cup matches.  I missed his first victory, a dead rubber win against Switzerland in 2001 (For those not fully knowledgeable of Davis Cup terminology, a dead rubber is a match that does not count because one of the teams has already one 3 matches to win the tie – it is basically an exhibition match), but I have been there for the other 44 singles matches he played.   After all those matches and years, my favorite Andy Roddick Davis Cup story has nothing to do with what happened on the court:

 

In September 2002, I attended a Davis Cup match as a Nethead for the first time.  The USA played France on the beautiful red clay courts of Roland Garros, definitely not the favorite surface for Americans.  Andy, at the age of 20, lost to Clement on the first day and then lost to Sebastien Grosjean on Sunday, which was the third point for the French, resulting in their victory.  I cannot tell you about any points in the match but I can relate what happened shortly after Andy’s loss to Grosjean.

 

It was a unique group of Americans at Roland Garros.  In addition to the Netheads, there were 160 high schoolers from Houston, Texas, along with their chaperones.   The owner of GalleryFurniture.Com had paid for all these Houstonians to come to Paris to cheer the USA team.  We Netheads mixed with the Houstonians in the stands.

 

About a set into James Blake’s dead rubber match, Andy Roddick started climbing into the stands toward our group.  He was giving the French security folks heart failure, this being shortly after the first anniversary of 9/11.  But Andy made the climb before they could stop him.

 

Andy came into our group, thanking us for coming and supporting him and the team.  And to show how much he appreciated the fans, he sat on the step right next to me to let these high school kids, mainly the young ladies, to take his picture and chat with him.  I still remember him telling one young lady, in those pre-digital days, that she may want to remove the lens cap before taking her picture.

 

As a father my first thought was how proud his parents would be.  Here was a 20 year-old kid, who had to be feeling bad for losing two tough matches for his country, with the composure and poise to come into the stands to thank us for coming.  Nothing Andy could accomplish on the court would ever make a bigger impression than his actions in the stands that day.

 

Andy’s retirement reminded me of the highs and lows in sports as well as life.  You always cannot end your career as you would like.  In the Davis Cup world, I was there in Houston when Pete Sampras lost his last Davis Cup match to Alex Corretja on grass.  I know it was the only Davis Cup match Alex ever won on grass and I think it is the only grass court match he ever won.   Pete, who had almost single-handedly beat the Russians in 1995 to give us the Cup, ends up with such a loss.

 

For Andy,  a goal of his was to bring the Davis Cup to his adopted home of Austin, Texas.  Last year Andy was able to accomplish this goal but the result was not what he wanted as he lost day one to David Ferrer and the USA went down to defeat.  So Andy, who had been the leader as the USA took out the Russians for the Cup in 2007, ends his Davis Cup career with a loss at his home.  Rather ironic that it was Russia and Spain for both Pete and Andy.

 

But we Netheads owe so much to Andy.  Because of him, many of us have gone to places in the USA and around the world we never would have gone otherwise.  We have had the opportunity to learn most sports fans are the same around the world; we will cheer for our teams but after the match is over, we shake hands and congratulate the winners.  And we have had the chance to build great friendships in the Nethead family.

 

Thanks for everything Andy.  And if you are ever interested, we have a nethead ready for you.

By David Foster – Nethead

 

 

Editor’s Note: Full disclosure, the editor-in-chief of this website is a former Nethead. As spectator,  fan or as media, she’s attended more than 20 Davis Cup ties in her lifetime.

The Netheads are a group of dedicated tennis fans who travel  all over the world to support the US Davis Cup team. They adorn themselves in red, white and blue and wear part of a tennis net on their heads while they cheer.

Tennis Panorama News will have Davis Cup coverage later this week from the Spain versus the US tie and in Montreal from the Canada versus South Africa tie.

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Andy Murray – In His Own Words

 

Here is the transcript from Andy Murray’s post-match news conference after winning the US Open:

An interview with: ANDY MURRAY

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 

Q.  First of all, congratulations.  From my perspective, it looked like you played like a man just possessed out there.  Just talk about the fight that you had and the feeling of having this trophy in front of you.

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I mean, it was obviously a very tough match.  You know, mentally, the last three, four days have been pretty tiring.  You know, when the conditions have been like they have been, you need to focus so hard, you know, on almost every shot because, you know, the ball is very hard to control.  So mentally it was challenging, you know, aside from it being, you know, a slam final and having not won one before, playing against Novak who, you know, on this surface is ‑‑ I mean, in the slams I don’t think he’s lost for, you know, a couple of years.  So it was an incredibly tough match, and, yeah, obviously it felt great at the end.  “Relief” is probably the best word I would use to, you know, describe how I’m feeling just now.  Yeah, very, very happy that I managed to come through because if I had lost this one from two sets up, that would have been a tough one to take.

 

Q.  You just said “relief.”  Is there a moment where you thought, “exultation” too?

ANDY MURRAY:  I don’t know what that means.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  Thrilled, you know, excitement.

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah.  I mean, obviously you’re feeling a lot of things.  You know, like I was obviously very emotional.  You know, I cried, you know, a little bit on the court.  You’re not sad; you’re incredibly happy.  You’re in a little bit of disbelief because when I have been in that position many times before and not won, you do think, you know, Is it ever going to happen?  Then when it finally does, you just ‑‑ yeah, you’re obviously very, very excited.  But, yeah, mainly relieved to have got over that, that last hurdle.

 

Q.  For 76 years British players have carried a millstone around their neck.  What is it like to have finally done it?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I mean, when you’re on the court, you don’t necessarily feel it, but I know when I was serving for the match, there’s a sense of how, you know, how big a moment that is in British tennis history really.  So, you know, that obviously adds to it.  I know more than most, you know, British players, I have been asked about it many times when I got close to winning Grand Slams before.  I get asked about it more and more even after I won the Olympics.  I still got asked, When are you going to win a Grand Slam?  So, yeah, it’s great to have finally done it, and I said in one of the interviews after the match, I hope now, you know, it inspires some kids to play tennis and also takes away the notion that British tennis players choke or don’t win or it’s not a good sport.  You know, it’s in a very good place in the UK right now.  Obviously Laura has done very well.  The Olympics was great for us.  Liam Broady was in the final here in the juniors.  It’s in a good place.  I hope it stays that way.

 

Q.  When Novak took that timeout, what was going through your mind?  And how did you keep focused on doing the job?

ANDY MURRAY:  Actually, I felt fine after I got that break to serve for it at 5‑2.  I was still obviously very nervous around sort of 3‑2, 4‑2.  You still are a long way from the finish line.  When the conditions are like that, really anything can happen.  You know, I got myself up after a minute or so of sitting down and just went to the back of the court and thought, you know, Where are you going to serve, first point?  Once I got that first point, I settled down and felt fine.  I have served matches very well my whole career.  I have never really had a problem with it.  Yeah, today was the same.

 

Q.  How tough was it at the start of the fifth set when he had come back?  Did the other finals go through your mind at all?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, I wasn’t thinking about the other finals.  I was thinking a bit more about what happened the last couple of sets and the situation I kind of found myself in after I guess it was nearly four hours of play by that stage.  I went to the toilet after the fourth set and just, you know, had a think and, you know, said, It’s just one more set.  Give everything.  You don’t want to come off this court with any regrets.  Don’t get too down on yourself.  Just try and fight.  I got a bit fortunate to get the break at the beginning of the set, and that helped.  I got a net cord on the slice backhand.  Then I settled down a bit after that.

 

Q.  I’m sure you’re going to be asked this question a lot:  Can you give us a sense how different this was to winning the gold medal in the Olympics?  One, a huge victory for the country; the other, a huge victory for you, vindication.  How do you compare and contrast them a bit?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, it’s definitely different.  You know, at the Olympics there was so much going on, you know, with all of the other sports and everyone was doing really well.  There was a lot of momentum and stuff.  You know, I had also the mixed doubles to focus on a bit.  When you know you’re guaranteed a couple of silver medals, that also maybe helped me a little bit going into the final there.  Whereas here, you know, I was still doubting myself right up to a few minutes before you go on to play the match.  You’re thinking, you know, Are you going to be able to do this?  This is going to be tough.  The match against him always is going to hurt, you know, as well.  Physically it’s challenging.  Yeah, it’s something I have never done before.  I have been in this position many times and not managed to get through.  So there is a lot of things you’re thinking about before you go out on the court.  I am just so relieved, like I said, to finally have got through and can put this one behind me and hopefully win more.

 

Q.  What are your thoughts now on just how difficult the personal road has been for you to get to this first Grand Slam championship?

ANDY MURRAY:  I mean, it’s been tough because, you know, I have lost a lot of tight matches and semifinals and lost comfortably in my first few slam finals, as well.  I mean, obviously not everyone in here sees all of the stuff that goes on away from the court in terms of the training that you do and, you know, I guess the physical sort of suffering, the stuff you put your body through on a weekly basis to try and prepare for these moments so you can play for four‑and‑a‑half hours at a high intensity.  That’s what’s tough.  I mean, my life is still very, very good.  Still very fortunate to be able to do this for a living.  But, you know, when you get so close to achieving really my last goal I had left to achieve in tennis in winning a Grand Slam, and when you have been there many times and not done it, it is easy to doubt yourself.  You know, I’m just, like I say, glad I managed to finally do it.  Happy I was able to do it for all the guys I work with, as well, because they have been with me pretty much from the start and seen all of those things that go on away from the court.

 

Q.  How old were you when you first felt that weight of, you know, the British history?  Secondly, when it was slipping away a bit, two sets to Love lead, did you get scared and think, Oh, my God, I’m going to let this slip away from me?

ANDY MURRAY:  I didn’t feel scared, but it’s something that you do ‑‑ like I said, at the end of the fourth set, you are thinking, What’s gone on here the last couple of sets?  What can I do to try and change it?  Obviously when you’re playing against someone like Novak who he has come back in a lot of matches, especially here, and he is in very good shape, you’re going to have to match him right up until the end.  So, yeah, even during the match you’re still questioning yourself a bit and you’re still doubting yourself a little bit.  Yeah, I just managed to stay tough enough today and get through.

 

Q.  How old were you when you first felt that weight?

ANDY MURRAY:  I mean, I don’t know exactly.  I mean, probably when I lost in the Aussie Open final, that may be the first time really, you know, I was starting to feel like, you know, something that kind of everyone was maybe expecting to happen.  But I knew deep down how tough it was to do it because of the people you were competing against.  So I started to question whether I was going to be able to do it, you know, around that age.  But I always worked hard and tried to do all the right things.  I’m glad it finally happened.

 

Q.  You have obviously had this fabulous tournament, this fabulous summer, but looking back on the process you just talked about, you may have shared this before, but what was the toughest stretch, the toughest moment or when you had the most doubt?

ANDY MURRAY:  After I lost to Novak in Australia last year, I wasn’t feeling good at all for pretty much into the clay court season.  So that was a good three‑month stretch, three‑, four‑month stretch where I really struggled with my game.  I struggled, you know, for motivation.  I lost and I think I lost in the first round of Indian Wells and Miami.  You know, I really wasn’t playing well, wasn’t enjoying it so much, and I stopped working with Alex Corretja around that time, as well.  That was also hard.  I mean, since I come on the tour, that was probably the hardest part.

 

Q.  Having four different winners this year in the slams and having you won the Olympics and being in the final of Wimbledon, do you consider yourself the most successful player of the year until now, more or less?  Another question:  I remember you didn’t like to play in wind.  You told us many, many times.  Did you attend a navigation college in South Hampton to improve your attitude towards playing in the wind?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, I didn’t.  I don’t think I have had the best year on the tour, no.  I think the last few months have been great for me, but, you know, there is more to the tennis tour than just the Grand Slams.  You know, Novak has played great tennis in most of the Masters Series, as well.  Roger has got himself back to No. 1.  You know, I think it is important to remember the tennis season.  It starts in January, finishes in November, there is four slams, but there is also many other tournaments to get to No. 1 in the world, which I think if you’re No. 1 you deserve to be the player of the year.  You can’t just rely on only playing the Grand Slams.  You need to do well at the other events, as well.  I haven’t done as well as I have needed to get to No. 1 in the world.  I would say Novak or Roger would be the best players this year.  But there is still a few months left.  And, no, I didn’t do the South Hampton thing.

 

Q.  There is a term in American sports, ‘act like you’ve been there before.  Is this utter fatigue you’re going through?  You appear as if you’re coming in here after a big loss, not like the culmination ‑‑ there is the first smile.  That’s what I’m looking for.  You showed so much personality after the loss in Wimbledon and winning the Olympics.  Emotionally, what level of euphoria are you going through now that you have this huge accomplishment behind you as opposed to in front of you?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, it’s hard to describe because I’m thinking a lot just now.  I’m thinking a lot about a lot of different things.  I have obviously just seen the guys that I work with, I saw my girlfriend, my mom, you know, all those people.  I think everyone is just in a little bit of shock, to be honest, that it’s kind of happened.  I see my mom after I have lost in slam finals and stuff, and she’s been really upset.  Everyone is really, really happy, but…

 

Q.  This would be a good time to show it.

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)  Exactly.  I think we’re sort of learning from Lendl a little bit.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  Learn the on‑the‑court stuff, not the off.

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah.  He doesn’t smile a whole lot.  (Laughter.)  Yeah, it’s hard to explain.  It’s been a long, long journey to this point.  So I’m just ‑‑ I don’t know.  I don’t know if it’s disbelief or whatever.  I’m very, very happy on the inside.  I’m sorry if I’m not showing it as you would like.

 

Q.  Back to 1936 for a minute.  I have been in this room many, many times.  I have heard the topic, the drought brought up with Tim Henman many times and with you.  It’s a topic you have had to endure.  With this profession comes a ton of pressure.  How much pressure has it been, the hopes Britain has had upon you?  And it was that way with Tim before and others.  Talk about that.  And also how great a relief is it to finally have shed that?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I did get asked about that all of the time for the last few years.  Most press conferences I would do I would get asked a question along those sort of lines, and it does build pressure a little bit.  You try not to think about it much when you’re playing, but like I said, when I was serving for the match, it’s something that you ‑‑ you know, I realized how important that moment was, and, you know, for British tennis or British sport.  It’s something that hasn’t happened for a long time obviously in our country.  And, yeah, I’m obviously proud that I managed to, you know, to achieve it, and, yeah, I don’t have to get asked that stupid question again.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  As a follow‑up, I want to ask:  Did the Olympic victory help, too?  A stepping stone?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I think even after Wimbledon this year, I felt much better after losing that match than I had after other slams.  The support I had afterwards was something I hadn’t really experienced before.  That also helped me to get over it quickly.  The Olympics was ‑‑ I mean, it was obviously huge for me.  It was the biggest week of my life, for sure.  But still today, you know, before the match, when I was sitting in the locker room beforehand, like I say, there are still doubts.  You’re still thinking, If I lose this one, you know, no one’s ever lost their first five finals.  You know, I just didn’t really want to be that person.  It was good to win.

 

Q.  You talked about feeling different going into the Olympic final after Wimbledon.  Going into this US Open final, did it feel different?  If so, how?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, going into the Olympic final I felt different than going into the Wimbledon final.  I think I dealt with both situations fairly well.  I wasn’t too nervous.  But like I say, today I was very nervous before the match.  You know, like I say, I was doubting myself a bit.  I mean, I don’t know whether winning the Olympics helped me today or not, but, you know, I don’t think the Olympics victory, when I got into the fifth set there, that wasn’t something I was thinking about, you know, at all.

 

Q.  But your mentality going in.  You said the mentality going in after Wimbledon…

ANDY MURRAY:  No, I felt ‑‑ coming to this tournament I felt much better than I had done maybe going into slams in the past.  I felt more comfortable with myself.  But today when you’re playing for a Grand Slam and it’s something I haven’t done before, my mentality wasn’t, Well, I won the Olympics, so today is going to be a breeze and I’m going to deal with the situation really well.  You know, I was very nervous in a couple of hours leading up to the match.

 

Q.  The fact you had to fight so hard, the quarters, the semis, beating three tough opponents in a row, and then Novak, does that make the win any more sweet?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I think ‑‑ well, I mean, however I got my first slam after the losses I have had, it was going to feel great.  But this tournament, I didn’t really feel like I played my best.  I felt like, you know, the matches maybe sometimes because of the conditions, you just have to try and find a way and get through.  But, yeah, I mean, the final today, I think it meant more to me winning it in four‑and‑a‑half hours and the five‑set match and having been up two sets to nothing and him coming back, you know, will have meant more to me because of that.

 

Q.  You have ticked off various things obviously with two massive wins.  Would becoming world No. 1 about be the next target in your only personal performance?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, all players, once you get near to the top of the game, that’s one of the goals is to try and get to the world No. 1.  I can’t say this year it’s necessarily possible for me to do it because I didn’t have a particularly good clay court season and I didn’t do well in the Masters Series in Cincinnati and Montreal and also in Indian Wells.  I had too many losses early in those tournaments.  But that is the next step.  To do that, you need to be consistent throughout the whole year.  That’s something that Novak and Roger and Rafa have done incredibly well the last few years.  He made it very, very difficult for guys to get up there.  I’m definitely going to try.  It’s something I’d love to do, to get to No. 1.  It’s a very tough thing to do.

 

Q.  Other than the fan support that you get at Wimbledon and the Olympics, have you ever had this much support on the road?  And were you prepared for Djokovic perhaps to be the fan favorite tonight?

ANDY MURRAY:  I always had very good support in New York since I came the first time.  I mean, I was 18 at the time when I played the seniors here the first time.  I always had really good support.  Tonight I didn’t ‑‑you know, I had no real expectations of who they would rather win, you know, but I think they wanted to see a great match.  You know, they wanted to see a long match.  At the start, they were supporting us fairly equally.  Then the third and fourth sets they seemed to be going for him a bit more.  Then the beginning of the fifth, you know, the support was back with me.  It was, yeah, it was just quite up and down.  I think they have obviously seen a lot of tennis here.  They wanted to see a great match.  Yeah, the support at the end and the atmosphere we got to play in tonight was incredible.

 

Q.  Since you’re dreaming about winning your Grand Slam, did you make any promise to yourself what happened if I won a Grand Slam?  Can you share it?  When you started the coach‑athlete’s relationship, did you make a promise to Ivan if I win a Grand Slam…

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  Knowing him, you know, after we will have a chat about the match tonight and then we will be discussing, unfortunately, the practice schedule for the next few weeks before the tournaments in China.  (Laughter.)  But, I mean, in the past before some of the slams, like in Australia and stuff, I had spoken to the guys I worked with and said, you know, If I win, we will do this.  One of them was jumping out of a plane.  One of them was everyone had to shave their heads.  But, yeah, for this one, we had none, unfortunately.

 

Q.  The late great Fred Perry was a great earthy guy; didn’t exactly come through in a traditional British way.  If you could be magically sitting down with him in a back room over here chatting for a moment or two, what would you say to him and what do you think he’d say to you?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I mean, obviously I don’t know.  I never got the chance to meet him.  But it would have been nice to have spoken to someone from Britain that had, you know, won major tournaments before.  That definitely would have helped me if I would have got the chance.  But, you know, I used to wear his clothing line when I was growing up.  Yeah, I mean, I’m sure he’s smiling from up there that someone has finally managed to do it from Britain.  Yeah, I’m very, very happy, and I just hope it’s not a long, long way ‑‑ I hope I can see another British player in my lifetime win a Grand Slam.

 

Q.  You never heard about BBC radio?  He was on the radio.  That was before your time?

ANDY MURRAY:  I think so, or I may have been a very young kid.  But I haven’t heard him on the radio.

 

Q.  Talking about smiles, there was a moment when you and Ivan Lendl were able to smile together after the match.  Did he tell you anything that you can tell us after this match?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, I saw all of the guys in the locker room afterwards, and, yeah, I saw him.  He just said, you know, I’m proud of you; well done.  We had a hug.  Then someone sprayed champagne all down my back and over him.  I think it was Danny.  That kind of ended that.  He started swearing.  (Laughter.)  Yeah, and that was that.

 

Q.  During the past two weeks I don’t know if anyone worked harder than you on the practice courts.  What drives you to work so hard?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, moments like this, I think.  That’s why we do it.  It’s why we play the game and put all the work in off the court.  You know, if I hadn’t trained hard I wouldn’t have been able to last.  My match a couple of days ago was four hours; today it was four and a half hours.  So that’s really what it’s for, for moments like this.  Sometimes you question whether it’s all worth it ‑ and I have done that a few times ‑  but after the summer that I have had, you realize that it is worth it.  There’s only one way to get where you want to be, and that’s with hard work and dedication.

 

Q.  You talked about the doubts that you have had.  What have you proved to yourself today?

ANDY MURRAY:  Well, I proved that, you know, I can win the Grand Slams.  I proved that I can last four‑and‑a‑half hours and come out on top against, you know, one of the strongest guys physically that tennis had probably seen especially on this surface.  So they would probably be the things that I would say I have learned tonight.  But, you know, to not doubt myself physically and mentally from now on.  You know, I’m sure that would have a positive impact in the future.

 

Q.  The easy play for us is to say that Ivan was a game changer for you.  Was he?  If so, how?  What do you think was the key?

ANDY MURRAY:  I think he definitely helped, that’s for sure.  I mean, it’s hard to say in terms of a percentage how much difference he will have made.  There was a lot of people that around the middle part of this year didn’t think that it was working well and I wasn’t learning from him that it wasn’t just, you know, a good situation.  But, you know, I have enjoyed working with him.  I have listened to him a lot.  You know, he’s definitely, definitely helped.  Having him in your corner for any player would be a big bonus.  Not many guys have won as much as he did want to go into coaching or want to be around tennis.  I think because he had such a long break after he finished, you know, he wanted to get back into it.  I think he’s enjoying it.  You know, he was obviously one of the most successful tennis players ever.  You know, I’m sure it gave a little boost to his ego tonight, as well, that I won today, you know, after just sort of nine months with him.  (Laughter.)  It’s been great so far, and I hope we can keep working well together.

 

Q.  Is there a certain message he gave you, Be more aggressive?  Toughness?  What?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I think it was the thing just to try to keep going for my shots and giving 110%, you know, not leave anything out there on the court, because, you know, he knows how hard Grand Slams are to come by and how hard you need to work to give yourself a chance to win them.  You don’t want to, you know, step off the court not doing yourself justice.  I felt maybe couple years ago in Australia a couple of years ago when I played Novak in the final there I didn’t necessarily do, and that hurt me a lot.  That’s probably why I struggled for a few months afterwards.  If I had lost tonight it would have hurt a lot, but I would have known I would have tried my best and given it 110%.  That’s what he asks of me.  If I do that, then he’s happy.

 

Q.  You spoke a lot about the enormous relief you’re feeling at the moment.  How do you think this might change you either as a person or in the way you do business on the court?

ANDY MURRAY:  I hope it doesn’t change me as a person.  That would be a bad thing.  I think on the court, you know, hopefully if I get into situations like this in the future I won’t be having all the doubts that I was having before the match today.  I will maybe just be a little more confident than I was before this tournament.  That’s actually it.  You know, I hope it doesn’t change too much.  You know, I’m still gonna going to have all the same friends and family and stay in the same house and train in the same places.  Nothing much is going to change in that respect.  There may be a few more busy press conferences now and a little bit more demands on my time, but that’s part of the job and that’s worth it.

 

Q.  Getting married?

ANDY MURRAY:  Justin’s told me all about married life, and he said it’s not all that…

 

Q.  It’s way tougher.

ANDY MURRAY:  No.  Well, I don’t have any plans for it just now.

 

Q.  Yesterday Victoria Azarenka said after losing to Serena that she felt blessed to play in the era of Serena Williams, a woman who has beaten her 10 out of 11 times.  She said the reason she felt blessed was because it drove her to raise her level of tennis beyond what she was otherwise.  You are playing in an era of greatness as well.  There has been conversation about you breaking into the strata of Roger and Rafa and Novak.  Novak said he felt privileged to play in this era.  Talk about that and what it means to do what you have had to do to crack into what you have done tonight?

ANDY MURRAY:  I mean, I have always said that, you know, playing against these guys makes you much better.  When you see physically how strong someone like Rafa is, I played him many times, you know, that drives you.  You see also how hard he works.  That makes you realize what you have to do nowadays, I think, to get to the top of the game and to compete with those guys.  You know, I obviously played Roger many times, as well.  You know, just the way that he plays, the consistency that he’s shown over the last whatever, seven, eight, nine, ten years, I think it’s going to be tough to see that again.  Obviously Novak, the last few years, you know, you see the way he moves around the court.  He took things I think especially on a hard court to a new level.  Yeah, I’m very happy to be part of this era in tennis.  I think everyone probably in here would agree it’s one of the best ever.  I think playing against them has made me improve so much.  You know, I always said that maybe if I played another era maybe I would have won more, but I wouldn’t have been as good a tennis player.  I think that’s how you should be judged at the end of your career, not just on how much you’re winning but on the people you’re competing against and how good a player you actually were.  Those guys are some of the best of all time.

 

Q.  A few minutes ago you spoke of this being a long journey.  What gives you the most satisfaction now of what you have overcome during that journey?

ANDY MURRAY:  I don’t know.  I mean, I think probably, I mean, proving to myself that I could do it.  Like I said, there are times where you don’t really think ‑‑ you know, I’m sure there are a lot of people that thought ‑‑you know, I have been questioned when I was younger.  I didn’t work hard enough and, you know, that I wasn’t mentally strong enough and I didn’t listen to my coaches and stuff.  You know, I always did listen to my coaches.  I just was very immature sometimes on the court.  I have tried to improve that side of things.  Yeah, I think I just proving to myself is probably the most pleasing part about tonight, because there are times when I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it.

 

Q.  There were a lot of extraordinary points, sort of another aspect of this era, all the great defense.  How does the body feel after four‑and‑a‑half hours of that?

ANDY MURRAY:  It definitely feels a lot better when you win.  (Laughter.)  You know, on this surface especially things hurt a lot in the morning.  I actually normally when I play on hard courts take painkillers most days before matches.  Actually today was the only day I took any painkillers during the tournament.  I felt really good for the most part in terms of, you know, my joints and stuff.  But it does take a lot out of the body, and this is for sure the most demanding surface.  You know, you can wake up with stiff back, hips, knees.  I can’t do it, but the way Novak slides on the court I’m sure his ankles and stuff are pretty sore in the morning.  But, yeah, I actually feel fine just now.  I think maybe because it wasn’t that warm out there.  I feel fine just now.  I felt fine at the end of the match.  Hopefully I would have been able to go a little bit longer.

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Novak Djokovic – In His Own Words

Here is the post-match news conference with Novak Djokovic who lost in the US Open final to Andy Murray in five sets.

An interview with: NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 

Q.  Is gonna be the first question in English for you:  You come from Serbia; you are our brother; you showed you are brave; we love you and we admire you and we are very proud to have you as a Serbian.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Thank you.

 

Q.  So how do you feel about this final today?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, any loss is a bad loss, you know.  There is no question about it.  I’m disappointed to lose the match, but in the back of my mind I knew that I gave it all.  I really, really tried to fight my way back through.  I had a great opponent today.  He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody, I’m sure, because over the years he’s been a top player.  He’s been so close; lost four finals.  Now he has won it, so I would like to congratulate him.  Definitely, you know, happy that he won it.

 

Q.  As you just said, any loss is a bad loss.  Andy has been so close so many times.  You and Roger and Rafa have all said at various times it’s bound to happen for him to win one.  If there is any consolation in the loss?  You know, is it nice to see Andy finally ascend to that hierarchy?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As I said, it’s nice, definitely.  There is no doubt that he deserves to win the Grand Slam.  I mean, playing so consistently well and winning against the top players for many times on many surfaces.  He has proven today that he’s a champ and he deserves to be where he is, no question about it.

 

Q.  I mean, he looked like a man possessed out there tonight.  Obviously with the gold medal and just not giving up out there.  You have played him so many times on big arenas.  Talk about the way he played tonight.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He played well.  I mean, it was a struggle for both of us, you know, to deal with the conditions.  Yeah, you know, at times we made a lot of unforced errors; at times we played some great points.  Two sides of the court with two different conditions, you know.  Playing down the wind and against the win is a huge advantage or disadvantage the way you look at it.  But it was the same for both of us.  The beginning of the fifth set was the turning point.  Was crucial, you know.  I should have not lost the two breaks in a row.  After that, it was really tough to come back.  And, you know, I definitely congratulate him, because he came up with big serving when he needed to.  I’m just satisfied and proud of my achievement, you know.  I know that I gave it all.  That’s always the goal.

 

Q.  The way you fired that last return of the match kind of reminded me of the return you had last year against Federer.  Did you have similar preparation towards that point as you did a year ago?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, obviously he was 5‑2 up in serve and 40‑15.  I mean, I didn’t give up.  I mean, I had trouble moving already for last couple of games.  I knew that my only chance really was to go for the shots.  It didn’t work this time; it worked last year.  That’s sport.

 

Q.  Memorable night.  Can you remember running so much in a single match?  Do you think it contributed to what looked like cramping up towards the end?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think we both did a lot of running.  Yeah, it was unfortunate really to not be able to come up with big shots at the right time.  Yeah, it forced me to go for winners or mistakes.  Unfortunately I did a lot of mistakes on the 2‑4 in the fifth and lost the crucial break.  After that, it was just a routine hold for him.

 

Q.  Obviously he, not enjoys, but handles these conditions very well.  You don’t like them.  You didn’t like them in your previous match.  You know, you got unlucky with net cords and everything else.  I think it would be very easy for you to say, This is not going to be my night.  Obviously the first two sets it looked that way.  How did you push through that and get to a fifth set?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I had matches to this similar in my career, especially in the last two years.  We had a long around five‑hour match in Australia as well earlier this year.  I really tried mentally to be out there and physically always push myself over the limits, you know.  It’s a Grand Slam final and you want to win.  There is no question about it.  We both wanted this trophy.  We were very hungry for it.  You know, if I won that first set and had some chances maybe the match would go a different way.  But look, you know, there is no reason to go back and say, What if?  What if?  He’s a Grand Slam winner and he deserves to be there.

 

Q.  Talking about the match, can you talk about the frustration and angry at the conditions?  You fought to the fifth set.  Do you think maybe the start of the match was the key to it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, we were both frustrated.  It’s the same for both players, you know.  It’s just the way you handle it.  Even though I was two sets down I still believed I could come back to the match.  I played really well third and fourth.  Yeah, a little bit slow start of the fifth and cost me the victory today.

 

Q.  Every year the journalist have to decide who is the best player of the year.  This year since 2003 is the first year that there are four players who won four different majors, but he won the Olympic Games plus he was in the final in Wimbledon.  Do you think right now even if the year is not over he deserves to be possibly the No. 1 of 2012?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I’m not a journalist.  (Laughter.)  I guess it’s on you to decide.

 

Q.  I want to ask you to just reflect on your year, which has been a tremendous year and a lot has gone on.  I want to ask particularly what was physically going on with you at the end of the match?  What was the problem?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it was great two weeks for me overall.  I played really good tennis when I needed to.  Today it was just not meant to be.  You know, we played almost five hours.  A lot of running, a lot of rallies.  I think that says enough about the effort that we both put, you know, physical, mental effort.  This time I didn’t win the match, and that’s sport.

 

Q.  You had some good early wins and then you had some real tough times.  You were in the shadow of Rafa and Roger.  You hung in there, kept on going, and then you scored your incredible breakthrough.  Andy now has persevered through many, many losses and has broken through.  My question is:  How does a pro deal with that?  How does he keep on going?  How does he keep his arc of his career going upward?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think in my experience it was just a matter of belief, really mentally to mature and to understand what you need to do to become a Grand Slam champion and to become the best in the world.  Andy has all the capacity he needs, all the talent on the court.  He’s dedicated; he’s professional.  He has proven that many years already, you know, with his results.  Us four, you know, we are taking this game to another level, and it’s really nice to be part of such a strong men’s tennis era, you know.  Obviously last couple of years ‑‑ I mean, I’m sure he’s gonna answer better ‑‑ but it was a necessary experience for him also to understand, you know, what he needs to do to be in the position that he is today.  So it was kind of similar story for me couple years back.  You know, he has done it.

 

Q.  Two years ago after the final you mentioned Rafa made one step; last year you made giant step; this year four different men can day, four gentlemen, four musketeers.  What do you think about today’s men’s field?  It’s so competitive, so close.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I’m not sure what’s gonna happen next couple of years.  Obviously nothing is predictable.  You know, I’m trying to think about myself.  As I said, it’s a privilege to be part of this era.  It’s obvious that the four of us, you know, we get to the later stages of every single Grand Slam.  Andy winning tonight makes it even more competitive and more interesting for people to watch it.

 

Q.  Does it change your approach for the fight for No. 1 in any way?  Andy Murray winning today, does it change in any way your approach to the fight for No. 1?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  My approach is always the same, you know.  I’m going to continue on to do what I’ve done so far.  I have a great team of people around me.  Being No. 1 of the world this year, end of this year is, yes, one of the objectives.  I’m going to try to recover from this and move on.

 

Q.  You seemed to play a lot of slice tonight especially on the backhand side especially early in the match.  Was that a tactic to adjust to him or to adjust to the wind?  Both?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yeah, the conditions were requiring a lot of change of pace and variety.  I think we both used the slice efficiently, you know.  It’s really difficult to predict because the wind was blowing very strong from all parts of the court.  You know, sometimes ball just sits there and you have to make an extra step to come to it.  You know, it was difficult to play, yeah.

 

Q.  You came around the net to congratulate him and hug him in a very sporting gesture.  You’re the first person he sees in an extremely historic moment for Britain.  What did he seem like to have having won it and what did you say to him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  What I said is what I said to you, that he deserves to win and I’m glad that he has won this trophy.  I mean it.  I mean, it must feel great for him.  It’s his first Grand Slam.

 

Q.  Could you see on his face…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I mean, you know, at that point a lot of emotions go through your mind.  He’s gonna answer better how he feels.

 

Q.  Going back to the match a little bit, you spiked that ball into the stands to win the fourth set; can you take us into the into your mind going into the fifth set?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I was serving against the wind the first game.  Was 30‑15 up; he played couple good points; then, you know, 4‑2, to make a break, I didn’t ‑‑ it was a bit lucky shot.  But, look, you know, that’s sport.  You know, you are lucky; the opponent is lucky.  You can’t affect that.  You try always to fight and give your best.  Fifth set was decided in first couple of games.

 

Q.  Not many people in Britain can remember the Fred Perry match in 1936.  You have to be I guess in your 90s to have any memory of that.  Do you think that the gold medal match for Andy Murray gave him the self‑confidence, the self‑belief that was the critical psychological issue for him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s again a question for him, I think.  He’s gonna answer better.  But from looking at it from the side, I mean, he definitely changed his mindset, I think, you know, towards the big matches.  I mean, he has won gold medal in his country.  A lot of expectations.  He has won it in a very impressive way in finals, so it must have been a great confidence boost for him.

 

Q.  I wasn’t here for the first question.  When you played in Australia the long, long match, and this one, can you compare them?  Was this more difficult because of the wind?  Also, you were more tired then or today?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, conditions are there, and you have to adjust as a player.  Both of the Grand Slams are played on hard court but obviously a different setting, a different conditions that you’re playing.

 

Q.  The rhythm?  Everything?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yeah.  I mean, as I said, it was obvious.  We had to make a lot of improvization with the shots.  We had to try to stay in there and stay focused and be in a good balance.  You know, the wind was doing everything to keep us out from balance.  So it was tough to play in.

 

Q.  That match in Australia he only had obviously started working with Ivan Lendl.  Now they have been working together for eight months.  What are the main differences that you see?  Is it mainly mental or is there a change in his game?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think it’s mental in the end mostly.  He has maybe couple of adjustments in his game.  Maybe he goes for forehand more than he used to.  But, you know, he was he was always out there one of the best players to play in the men’s game last couple of years.  It was always a challenge to any of us on any surface.  I think it was mental for him in the end to really, you know, make a breakthrough.

 

Q.  What’s the key for you to get over this?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Have days without tennis.

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Andy Murray Finally Wins Major, Defeats Djokovic in Five Sets for US Open Crown

 

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Scotland’s Andy Murray had become the first man from Great Britain since Fred Perry  won the US Championships in 1936 to win a major title by defeating Novak Djokovic 7-6(10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 for the 2012 US Open title. The victory comes in his fifth major final.

The match which went 4 hours, 54 minutes was highlighted by many long, stirring rallies.

After No. 4 Murray gritted out the first two sets, Djokovic surged to even the match. In the fifth set Murray broke the Serbian  twice to take a 3-0 lead. Djokovic retrieved one of the breaks back to get to 1-3, but Murray surged again to take control closing ou t the set and the match 6-2.

“Novak is so, so strong. He fights until the end in every single match,” Murray said. “I don’t know how I managed to come through in the end.”

“It was incredibly tricky conditions,” Murray said while receiving the trophy. “After the third and fourth sets it was tough mentally for me… Novak is so, so strong. He fights till the end in every single match and I don’t know how I managed to come through in the end.

“It was close to five hours and I’ve had some really long and tough matches. I just managed to get through.”

“I really tried my best,” Djokovic said.

“It wasn’t to be. I want to congratulate Andy for his first Grand Slam.  He absolutely deserves it. I gave it all. It was another tremendous match to be a part of.”

“Any loss is a bad loss. There is no question about it. I’m disappointed to lose the match, but in the back of my mind I knew that I gave it all. I really, really tried to fight my way back through.”
“It was an incredibly tough match, and obviously it felt great at the end,” said Murray to media.” ‘Relief’ is probably the best word I would use to describe how I’m feeling just now. [I'm] very, very happy that I managed to come through because if I had lost this one from two sets up, that would have been a tough one to take.”

“I had a great opponent today, said Djokovic. He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody, I’m sure, because over the years he’s been a top player. He’s been so close; lost four finals. Now he has won it, so I would like to congratulate him.”

Murray who is coached by Ivan Lendl now shares something in common – both men won their first major in their fifth major final.

 

Murray will move past Rafael Nadal and become the No. 3 player in the world when the new rankings come out this week.

Next target for the 25-year-old Scot is No. 1:

“That is the next step,” said Murray. “To do that, you need to be consistent throughout the whole year. That’s something that Novak and Roger and Rafa have done incredibly well the last few years. He made it very, very difficult for guys to get up there. I’m definitely going to try. It’s something I’d love to do, to get to No. 1. It’s a very tough thing to do.”

(Much more to follow)

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Stosur and Bryan Brothers win US Open Sportsmanship Awards

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 7, 2012 — The USTA today announced that Samantha Stosur, Bob and Mike Bryan have received the first-ever “US Open Sportsmanship Award” presented to the male and female professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open.  The awards were presented to the winners at the US Open by USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen and Sportsmanship Selection Committee Chairman Todd Martin.

“Great sports make a sport great and Samantha Stosur is a perfect choice for the US Open Sportsmanship Award,” said Vegosen.  “Samantha is a phenomenal player and also exhibits the type of quality and tradition in our sport that we want to showcase. When someone like Samantha has accomplished as much as she has and is still a class act, it shows that character is really important in the game and in life.”

 

“I feel extremely honored to accept the Sportsmanship Award,” said Stosur. “I always try to compete hard and growing up watching my idols, I admired the players who were graceful in victory or defeat. It was a surprise to receive the award and nice to take home the beautiful trophy, although not quite the big one I was after.”

 

“Bob and Mike are both great champions and gracious competitors, making them the perfect choice to receive the US Open Sportsmanship Award,” said Vegosen. “Through all of their accomplishments on the court, Bob and Mike have exuded the class and integrity that exemplify what makes tennis such a great sport. Their success continues to set a perfect example for future generations.”

 

Bob and Mike Bryan won the 2012 US Open men’s doubles title to break the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam team titles with their 12th major trophy. The Bryans passed Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in the Open Era and tied John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the all-time record. The Bryans also won the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Toronto this summer and reached the semifinals of the Series event in Cincinnati.  Off the court, Esurance, the official car insurance sponsor of the US Open, teamed up with the Bryan brothers and USTA Serves this summer to support two tennis programs benefiting at-risk youth.

 

Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2012 US Open.  In addition to a handsome trophy, each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice.

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Djokovic versus Murray – Tale of the Tape

 

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 2 Novak Djokovic will play  No. 4 Andy Murray for the US Open Men’s singles championship on Monday.  Here is a look at the their head-to-head records. Statistics provided by the International Tennis Federation.

 

Men’s Singles Final

NO. 2 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v NO. 3 ANDY MURRAY (GBR)

 

 

US Open Series

As first-place finisher in the US Open Series, Djokovic has already guaranteed an extra $500,000 in prize money by reaching the final here and could receive a bonus $1,000,000 for a total payout of $2.9 million should he win the tournament – which would be the biggest payout in tennis history.

 

US Open champions

24 different men have won US Open titles in the Open Era. The number could increase to 25 should Murray be crowned champion.

 

 

Different champions

Australian Open

25

Roland Garros

25

Wimbledon

19

US Open

24

 

 

2012 match-win leaders                          2012 hard court leaders

 

Rank Player Win-loss   Rank Player Win-loss
1 Novak Djokovic 60-10   1 Novak Djokovic 35-3
2 Roger Federer 59-8   2 Roger Federer 31-3
3 David Ferrer 58-12 3= Tomas Berdych 28-9
4= Juan Martin del Potro 52-14 Juan Martin del Potro 28-9
Nicolas Almagro 52-17   5= Andy Murray 25-5
——- —————————— ————     John Isner 25-9
7=  Andy Murray 46-11    

 

 

 

ATP Rankings Update…

Regardless of the outcome of the final, Djokovic will still occupy the No. 2 position and Murray will move up to
No. 3 in the ATP rankings when they are published on Monday.

 

 

No. 2 v No. 3…

This is the first Grand Slam final to feature the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds since 1995 Wimbledon, when No. 2 Pete Sampras defeated No. 3 Boris Becker. This is the 4th US Open final in the Open Era to be contested by the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds after 1982, 1983 and 1992.

 


Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 8-6

2006     AMS Madrid                  Hard (I)             R16      Djokovic           16 75 63

2007     AMS Indian Wells          Hard (O)            SF        Djokovic           62 63

2007     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)            SF        Djokovic           61 60

2008     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)            R16      Djokovic           60 64

2008     AMS Toronto                Hard (O)            QF        Murray              63 76(3)

2008     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)            FR        Murray              76(4) 76(5)

2009     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)            FR        Murray              62 75

2011     Australian Open           Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           64 62 63

2011     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            SF        Djokovic           61 36 76(2)

2011     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)            FR        Murray              64 3-0 ret. (right shoulder injury)

2012     Australian Open           Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           63 36 67(4) 61 75

2012     Dubai                           Hard (O)            SF        Murray              62 75

2012     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)            FR        Djokovic           61 76(4)

2012     London Olympics          Grass (O)          SF        Murray              75 75

 

A 2nd Grand Slam final and just a 3rd Grand Slam meeting for these 2 players who are only separated in age by one week.

 

Murray and Djokovic are the closest Grand Slam finalists by age. Murray is 7 days older than Djokovic. The previous closest Grand Slam finalists were Guillermo Vilas and Jimmy Connors at the 1977 US Open. Vilas was 16 days older than Connors.

 

Murray defeated Djokovic in the semifinals en route to winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event last month. Their meeting at the Australian Open earlier this year was Murray’s last 5-set match. Djokovic enters today’s final on an 8-match winning streak in 5-set matches.

 

DJOKOVIC                                      v                                       MURRAY

25                                           Age                                           25

6’2”/1.88m                                   Height                                   6’3”/1.90m

2                                    ATP Ranking                                    4

38,905,183                   Career Prize Money (US$)*                   21,542,497

6,022,425                     2012 Prize Money (US$)*                     2,395,110

31                                         Titles                                         23

134-26                      Career Grand Slam Record                       99-27

5 titles                        Best Grand Slam Result                Runner-up 4 times

39-6                               US Open Record                               28-7

454-121                               Career Record                               369-118

282-68                          Career Record – Hard                          253-71

60-10                                  2012 Record                                  46-11

35-3                              2012 Record – Hard                              25-5

17-5                          Career Five-Set Record                           12-6

3                          Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          6

131-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                        106-65

12-9                            2012 Tiebreak Record                            14-5

*earnings as of 27 August 2012

 

Road to the Final

DJOKOVIC

Time^

Time^

MURRAY
d. Paolo Lorenzi 61 60 61

1:13

1st round

2:15

d. Alex Bogomolov Jr 62 64 61
d. Rogerio Dutra Silva 62 61 62

1:39

2nd round

1:51

d. Ivan Dodig 62 61 63
d. No. 31 Julien Benneteau 63 62 62

1:37

3rd round

3:53

d. No. 30 Feliciano Lopez 76(5) 76(5) 46 76(4)
d. No. 18 Stanislas Wawrinka 64 61 3-1 ret.

1:33

Round of 16

2:00

d. No. 15 Milos Raonic 64 64 62
d. No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro 62 76(3) 64

3:06

Quarterfinals

3:00

d. No. 12 Marin Cilic 36 76(4) 62 60
d. No. 4 David Ferrer 26 61 64 62

2:32

Semifinals

3:58

d. No. 6 Tomas Berdych 57 62 61 76(7)

total time on court

11:40

16:57

total time on court

^ Scorecard time

 

  • Defending champion DJOKOVIC is bidding to become the first man to retain the US Open title since Roger Federer in 2008.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 6th Grand Slam singles title and join Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg in joint-10th place for most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 4th straight hard court Grand Slam, having won the 2011 and 2012 Australian Opens and the 2011 US Open. He is on a 27-match winning streak at hard court Grand Slam events. Only Roger Federer has a longer winning streak at hard court Grand Slam events with 40 consecutive victories from the 2005 US Open through the 2008 Australian Open.

 

  • This is Djokovic’s 9th Grand Slam final overall. He has a 5-3 win-loss record in Grand Slam finals going into today’s match:

 

Grand Slam

Final Result

2007 US Open l. Roger Federer 76(4) 76(2) 64
2008 Australian Open d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 46 64 63 76(2)
2010 US Open l. Rafael Nadal 64 57 64 62
2011 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 64 62 63
2011 Wimbledon d. Rafael Nadal 64 61 16 63
2011 US Open d. Rafael Nadal 62 64 67(3) 61
2012 Australian Open d. Rafael Nadal 57 64 62 67(5) 75
2012 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 64 63 26 75
2012 US Open v Andy Murray???

 

  • Djokovic has reached his 4th US Open final and moved into joint-7th place with Bjorn Borg for most appearances in the US Open final in the Open Era behind Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras (8 US Open final appearances each), Jimmy Connors (7), Andre Agassi and Roger Federer (6 each), and John McEnroe (5).

 

  • Djokovic has also reached his 3rd consecutive final at Flushing Meadows and moved into joint-4th place with John McEnroe and Pete Sampras for most successive finals reached in the Open Era. Lendl heads the list with 8 straight US Open finals, Federer is second with 6 and Jimmy Connors is third with 5.

 

  • At 2012 Roland Garros Djokovic became the 9th man in the Open Era to reach the final at all 4 Grand Slams:                       

 

                             Age to complete the set of Grand Slam final appearances (Open Era)

Player Completed at… Age^
Jim Courier 1993 Wimbledon 22 years 321 days
Rafael Nadal 2010 US Open 24 years 101 days
Andre Agassi 1995 Australian Open 24 years 275 days
Roger Federer 2006 Roland Garros 24 years 307 days
Novak Djokovic 2012 Roland Garros 25 years 19 days
Stefan Edberg 1991 US Open 25 years 232 days
Ivan Lendl 1986 Wimbledon 26 years 121 days
Rod Laver* 1969 US Open 31 years 31 days
Ken Rosewall* 1971 Australian Open 36 years 73 days

^ Age as at the end of the tournament

* Also reached all 4 Slam finals in the pre-Open Era

 

  • Djokovic has reached the semifinals at all 4 Grand Slams in a calendar year for the 2nd straight year. He is just the second man to reach all 4 semifinals in a calendar year on two occasions after Roger Federer in 2005/06/07/08/09.

 

  • The last time Djokovic was defeated by a player ranked lower than today’s opponent at a Grand Slam was at 2010 Wimbledon, when he lost to No. 13 Tomas Berdych in the semifinals.

 

  • Djokovic has won 4 of his last 5 matches against Top 10 opposition. His last loss came against No. 1 Roger Federer in the final at Cincinnati-1000. He is on a 3-match losing streak against Top 3 opposition.

 

  • Last year here Djokovic won his first US Open title after defeating Nadal in the final. He saved 2 match points in his semifinal against Federer to become the first man since Roddick in 2003 to win the title here having saved a match point. This is his 8th consecutive appearance at the US Open and his 32nd straight Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Djokovic won his 5th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year after defeating Nadal in the longest-ever Grand Slam final. He finished runner-up at Roland Garros (l. Nadal), bringing an end to his bid to hold all 4 major titles at the same time, and he lost to Federer in the semifinals at Wimbledon. He is the only Grand Slam champion left in the men’s main draw from the 5 to start.

 

  • Djokovic is the only male Serbian Grand Slam champion and the only Serbian man to appear in a Grand Slam final. Only one other Serbian man has reached a Grand Slam semifinal in the Open Era, Slobodan Zivojinovic doing so at the 1985 Australian Open and 1986 Wimbledon under the Yugoslavian flag.

 

  • Djokovic has won 3 titles so far this year, all of which have come on hard court. As well as his Australian Open title, he won Miami-1000 (d. Andy Murray) and Toronto-1000 (d. Richard Gasquet).

 

  • Djokovic won the US Open Series after taking the title at Toronto-1000 and finishing runner-up at Cincinnati-1000. If he wins the title here he will earn an additional $1 million in prize money. The last player to win both the US Open Series and the US Open was Roger Federer in 2007.

 

  • At the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event Djokovic lost the men’s singles bronze medal match to today’s opponent. He also carried the flag for Serbia in the Opening Ceremony.

 

  • For the second successive year Djokovic entered the US Open as the 2012 hard court leader. Following the semifinals here he has a 35-3 win-loss record on hard court in 2012, ahead of Roger Federer on 31-3.

 

  • Djokovic has been coached by Marian Vajda since June 2006. His wider team includes physios Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

 

  • MURRAY is bidding to win his first Grand Slam title in his 5th major final.

 

  • Murray is bidding to avoid becoming just the second man in history to lose his first 5 Grand Slam finals. Only Fred Stolle lost his first 5 major finals – at 1963 Wimbledon, the 1964 Australian Championships, 1964 Wimbledon, the 1964 US Championships and the 1965 Australian Championships. Stolle went on to win 2 Grand Slam titles.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first British men’s winner at any Grand Slam event since Fred Perry won the US Championships in 1936. He is bidding to end an 8-match losing streak by British players in Grand Slam finals:

 

British men in Grand Slam finals since the 1936 US Championships

Grand Slam Player Opponent Result
1936 US Championships Fred Perry Don Budge Defeated 26 62 86 16 108
1937 French Championships Bunny Austin Henner Henkel Lost 61 64 63
1938 Wimbledon Bunny Austin Don Budge Lost 61 60 63
1977 (Dec) Australian Open John Lloyd Vitas Gerulaitis Lost 63 76 57 36 62
1997 US Open Greg Rusedski Pat Rafter Lost 63 62 46 75
2008 US Open Andy Murray Roger Federer Lost 62 75 62
2010 Australian Open Andy Murray Roger Federer Lost 63 64 76
2011 Australian Open Andy Murray Novak Djokovic Lost 64 62 63
2012 Wimbledon Andy Murray Roger Federer Lost 46 75 63 64
2012 US Open Andy Murray Novak Djokovic ???

 

  • This is the 287th Grand Slam event since a British man last won a major title. Murray is one of 4 British men to have reached a Grand Slam final since Perry’s victory at the 1936 US Championships.

 

  • The last British player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam singles title is Virginia Wade at 1977 Wimbledon.

 

  • Murray is just the second British player, man or woman, to reach consecutive Grand Slam finals in the Open Era. Ann Jones reached the final at 1969 Roland Garros and 1969 Wimbledon. The last British man to reach consecutive Grand Slam finals was Fred Perry, who finished runner-up at 1936 Roland Garros before winning 1936 Wimbledon and the 1936 US Open – the last time that a British man won a Grand Slam.

 

  • Murray is through to his second US Open final 4 years after he broke through to his first Grand Slam final here in 2008 (l. Federer). He is just the second British man to reach multiple finals at either the US Championships or the US Open. In US Championships history, Fred Perry is the only Briton to reach more than one final here:

 

British Players in the US Championships/US Open finals

Year Player Opponent Result
1894 Manliff Goodbody Robert Wrenn Lost 68 61 64 64
1897 Wilberforce Eaves Robert Wrenn Lost 46 86 63 26 62
1902 Reginald Doherty William Larned Lost 46 62 64 86
1903 Laurie Doherty William Larned Won 60 63 108
1933 Fred Perry Jack Crawford Won 63 1113 46 60 61
1934 Fred Perry Wilmer Allison Won 64 63 16 86
1936 Fred Perry Donald Budge Won 26 62 86 16 108
1997 Greg Rusedski Pat Rafter Lost 63 62 46 75
2008 Andy Murray Roger Federer Lost 62 75 62

 

  • Murray is the only British man in the Open Era to reach multiple Grand Slam finals. Since the abolition of the Challenge Round Fred Perry is the only British player, man or woman, to reach more Grand Slam finals than Murray. Perry reached a total of 10 Grand Slam finals, winning 8 titles.

 

  • By reaching the final here Murray will overtake Rafael Nadal as world No. 3 when the ATP Rankings are released on Monday 10 September. Murray reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 in August 2009.

 

  • This is Murray’s 8th consecutive US Open appearance and 28th major overall. Last year here he reached the semifinals (l. Nadal).

 

  • Murray has won 5 of his last 6 matches against Top 10 opposition. His only loss came against No. 3 Federer in the Wimbledon final this year.

 

  • By defeating Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals here Murray qualified for the year-end ATP World Tour Finals for the 5th straight year. He has finished No. 4 in the year-end rankings for the last 4 years.

 

  • Murray’s 3rd round victory over Lopez was his 250th career hard court win. Just 7 other active players have won 250 or more hard court matches – Roger Federer (520 wins), Andy Roddick (426), Lleyton Hewitt (340), Tommy Haas (304), Novak Djokovic (282), Rafael Nadal (277) and James Blake (272) – through the semifinals here.

 

  • In Grand Slam play this year Murray reached the semifinals at the Australian Open (l. Djokovic), the quarterfinals at Roland Garros (l. David Ferrer) and finished runner-up at Wimbledon. He was the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938.

 

  • Murray’s 5-set defeat to today’s opponent at the 2012 Australian Open ended a run of four 5-set match wins. He hasn’t played a 5-set match since then.

 

  • Murray won the gold medal in the men’s singles at the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event, defeating Federer in straight sets in the final. He also won his 19th career hard court title at 2012 Brisbane (d. Alexandr Dolgopolov) – he is in joint 4th place for most hard court titles among active players.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first man to win the US Open and an Olympic singles gold medal in the same year.

 

  • Murray played 2 US Open Series events prior to coming here. He gave a walkover to Milos Raonic in the 3rd round at Toronto-1000 with a knee injury and he lost to Jeremy Chardy in the 3rd round as defending champion at Cincinnati-1000.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become just the 3rd man to win both the US Open boys’ and men’s singles titles after Stefan Edberg and Andy Roddick. Murray won the boys’ singles title here in 2004 (d. Sergiy Stakhovsky).

 

  • Murray started working with 8-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl at the beginning of this year. His fitness trainers are Matt Little and Jez Green, and his physiotherapist is Andy Ireland.

 

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Victoria Azarenka – In Her Own Words

An interview with: VICTORIA AZARENKA – Post -Match interview after losing the US Open final to Serena Williams

Sunday, September 9, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 

Q.  You played a great match out there today.  I mean, at the end you really looked absolutely devastated.  Did you feel like you just let this one get away?  What are your thoughts?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yes, as you mentioned, you know, I think it was a great match.  Being so close it hurts deeply to know you don’t have it, you’re close, you didn’t get it.  But at this moment, you know, I have no regrets.  I felt like I gave it all there, you know.  Could it have gone my way?  Probably, yes.  But it didn’t.  It really, really hurts.  You know, those emotions come out and you feel sad, but it’s time to really realize what happened today.  You know, it was a great match.  It was close but not for me.

 

Q.  There are a lot of positives.  Getting to a Grand Slam final in and of itself is such a remarkable accomplishment.  You can look back on the summer as maybe a breakthrough summer for you.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Definitely.  It’s a great achievement, there is no doubt.  It’s kind of difficult to sink everything in at this particular moment, because right now I feel sad.  I feel proud of myself in one way, but still sad.  But in few days when I go home, you know, I’ll be more than happy, you know, with the summer.  I think I’m in pretty good shoes, you know, sitting here as a finalist of the US Open actually for my first time.

 

Q.  Is it possible to explain how tense you were feeling at the end?  Looked like every single point was so important.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, it was.  At this moment it feels like there is no room for a mistake, you know.  There is no room for a wrong decision.  So it’s absolutely tense and so close that you feel like you have to know what you’re doing, you know.  You have to be confident.  You have to trust yourself.  I did.  I really did.  It just felt like a few shots were just, you know, really close or at the top of the net.  But I have to be positive, you know, because I feel like these kind of matches ‑‑ every time I play Serena, it really pushes to be better, to improve, to move forward.  I have to be thankful to her for that, you know, as well.

 

Q.  Early on it was not going your way.  You had said you have to do something different.  What did you do to really turn the tide of that in the second set?  It was an amazing sort of switch that you were able to pull off.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I felt like I was returning much better.  I was preparing my opportunities to dictate, not let her dictate.  So that was important, to kind of make sure that no matter what the score is, no matter how good Serena is gonna play, I have to stay alert, and when I have opportunity to make sure that I’m on it.  And I really did that today.

 

Q.  You never played a Grand Slam final before this year.  You produced some of your best tennis in these two Grand Slam finals against Sharapova and Serena, both of whom had won Grand Slam titles before.  What do you think it is about your personality that allows you to bring out this best tennis at these most important matches moments?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, I’m not too bad of a player, I think, right?  So when you play at these stages you don’t expect anything else.  You know, you have to come out and show your best tennis.  There is no stepping back.  There is last match.  You know, as important as semifinals or quarterfinals, every round you play, the final round is always going to be the most important all the time.  All those high stakes, I feel like when the task is more difficult for me it’s more exciting.  You know, I don’t know, that fear, adrenaline is coming, something that you never experienced before, you know, you have to stand tall and just face it.  So I feel like this brings the best out of me, you know, those conditions, that motivation that I have to produce absolute best.

 

Q.  You were winning most of the baseline rallies in the second set and the third set.  When you came off your chair at 5‑4 to serve for the match, did you feel like, Yes, this is in my control; I can do it, or did the nerves just kind of get to you?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, it was both.  It was definitely a lot of self‑belief in myself, but I felt like there was just too many one‑, two‑shot rallies that didn’t allow me to grind it a little bit, you know, the way I like it, and not really make me feel in control at that particular moment.  I felt like I didn’t create enough a little bit myself.

 

Q.  Did you also feel like in that game when you served for it that she would definitely step up and play well?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, there was no other choice for her to do, so, yeah, in the back of my mind I had that coming.  So that maybe was a little bit of hesitation for me.  But I have to say, you know, Serena produced some amazing tennis.  I feel like I could have done a little bit better, but there was nothing that I did absolutely wrong.

 

Q.  Great tournament.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Thank you.

 

Q.  You were talking about how Serena pushes you every time.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah.

 

Q.  What makes her so great?  Is it the serve?  The mental part?  Can you break it down for us?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, the serve is definitely the biggest asset, you know.  If you look in both of our games, it’s the biggest difference, you know, if you take it simple.  And the mental, you know, she never gives up.  You know, she’s a great champion.  She knows how to play.  I don’t know.  But definitely the serve is what stands out the most out of all the game, you know, assets.  But she’s definitely the toughest player mentally there is, and, you know, she’s got the power.

 

Q.  And mentally when she was making her push back in the third set, what went through your mind on the mental side in terms of, Here comes Serena?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I didn’t think about that.  I just tried to stay focused on myself, you know, because that’s what was helping me throughout the whole match, you know, to try to be focused on what I have to do.  Of course being aware of what she’s going to do against me, but mostly trying to stay focused on my execution.

 

Q.  I want to ask you, going back to something you said a few answers ago where you thanked Serena for the way she pushes you and makes you strive to play better.  You said something to that effect during the awards ceremony out on the court.  If you could elaborate on that.  You’ve played 11 times and she’s beaten you 10 times.  Do you really feel grateful for having her in the game in your era and that she does bring that out in you, your best?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, hell, yeah; but in the other way, if she wasn’t there, I mean, I probably would have won more titles.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  That’s my question, because some people would resent the other player.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, but I will not take anything back.  I think she’s brought ‑‑ for me she’s the greatest player of all time.  She took the game to the next level.  As I said before, she makes me all the time to make sure that I’m taking my game, my personality, my physical aspect to the next level.  So, you know, having few of the players like that in the women’s tour right now is something priceless, you know, something that you cannot take away.  It’s the people who, you know, like Maria, like Petra those kind of girls, they always push me to be better.  I mean, it’s great opportunity, so I have no regret.  Today I was close.  I’m going to have for sure another opportunity to make something better.  That’s what I’m looking for.

 

Q.  You’re a very positive person.  I know you have taken positives away from this match.  How eager are you to return to the practice court and then play Serena again?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, I’m not going tomorrow or after tomorrow.  Trust me on that.

 

Q.  Why not?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  (Laughter.)  Well, because I feel like I deserve a little bit of rest.

 

Q.  I’m kidding.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know, I feel like I always try to improve everything in my game.  I improved a lot my serve, which was a bigger gap between me and Serena, for sure.  So definitely physical aspect that I would like to step another level, because I feel like there is a lot of room of improvement.  Now the game becomes so physical that you have to keep pushing yourself.  Serena shows a lot of people how important it is right now.

 

Q.  Before the match, Agassi was talking about the sound of the crowd and how it sounds like a jet plane and a heartbeat, all this stuff.  You were in the middle of that cauldron and you were focusing on your game, but what does it feel like to be in a US Open final on that stage?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  It’s amazing, absolutely.  I feel like I’m in a place that I belong, you know.  It’s something that you will never be able to describe really with words, because that feeling that you get, that energy, you know, that something special, all eyes on you waiting for you to serve or return or see what you’re gonna do, it’s absolutely incredible.  It’s something that, I don’t know, we wake up every day for, you know, to feel that incredible atmosphere.  You know, I mean, no words describe.  It was not for me most of the time, because fair enough, but it was incredible.

 

Q.  After one of the crazy points, I think it was in the second set, you actually smiled to the crowd and looked happy.  Is it possible actually to have fun in a Grand Slam final?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Oh, it was a lot of fun.  Maybe wasn’t showing on my face expression, but it was a lot of fun.  It was great, you know, to be out there for ‑ I don’t know how long we played, two hours‑something ‑ that special moment.  It was absolutely fun.

 

Q.  You talked about your now‑famous grandmother.  When you get a personal moment just to share the personal side of this, what will you say about this great effort which just fell short in this drama?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, I just got a message from my family, and they said, We love you.  So I don’t need any other words to feel from them.  That’s the most important.

 

Q.  The spirit between you and Serena on the court afterwards was very nice.  It was a nice scene.  Can you speak a little bit about your energy with her.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, we never had a problem with each other.  I truly admire her as a person, as a tennis player.  But I feel like, you know, there goes beyond just a tennis player when you connect with somebody.  Absolutely I admire her.  It was honest feelings, you know.  I congratulated her with all my heart because I felt like she absolutely deserved the win, you know.  She was the best player out there today.

 

Q.  Were you planning any special dances or celebration in case you won?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I got my moves.  I don’t need to do the special dances.  When I win, I’ll do it.  But what’s important to prepare when you didn’t win?  (Laughter.)  I can dance all my night today.

 

Q.  Obviously you came at her in the second and she showed some fragility.  Things were breaking down a little bit for her.  Were you surprised by that?  Because she’s known for being so strong.  Or is that understandable in the moment with everything?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, she’s a human being, you know, who has two feet, two legs, you know, two hands.  It’s understandable.  Plus, you know, I felt like I came up to do something different to provoke those opportunities.  It wasn’t something, Oh, I’m going to…  she will start to miss, because that will never happen, really.  I felt like I provoked her and I was just trying to stay in that moment to make sure that I keep it rolling.

 

Q.  After the first set, were you sure that at some point in the second set, yes, I’m going to find my game?  Yes, I’m going to get this match and it’s going to be close or I have a chance of winning it?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, of course, otherwise I would just pack my bags and go home, seriously.  I feel every time I play I had this great advice from one very special person that said, When there is still a point, you always have a chance.  So I always have that mindset.

 

Q.  Who was that special person that gave you that advice?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Can I keep it to myself?  (Laughter.)  Thank you.

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Serena Williams wins Fourth US Open Title, 15th Major

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Two points away from losing, Serena Williams regained her poise and her game to stop No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 to capture her fourth US Open title on Sunday night, her 15th major title overall.  Williams won the last four games to win the title. Azarenka was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set but was broken by Williams.

“I was serving at 3-5, at 30-all I figured I could serve that game out and just make her serve for it.” Williams told media. “It’s the least I could have done. And I hadn’t been holding my serve very well. After that I thought I could just force another game – and obviously I never give up. I never, never quit. I have come back so many times in so many matches. I wasn’t too nervous. I competed really well. I never stopped competing, no matter what, and sometimes if you can just go out and compete, then you can continue to do well.”

The final was the first three set affair in New York since 1995.

Williams has gone 26-1 this summer since her first round loss at the French Open in late May. Her run includes titles at Wimbledon, the Bank of the West Classic, the Olympics and now the US Open.

“I came into the summer knowing it was going to be a long summer,” Williams said. “But I could do well if I just put my mind to it. I knew I could just be a good player and a champion this summer, but I never expected to win all these titles. Everything has been so amazing.”

Williams is the first woman to win Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year since she herself did it in 2002.

Williams is the first 30-something to win the US Open since 1987 when  Martina Navratilova. Williams was a five-year-old at the time. Williams will tur 31 on September 26th.

“I honestly can’t believe I won, I was preparing my runner-up speech, ” said Williams on-court after the match.

“At the moment it’s tough. But Serena deserves to win. I’m honored to stand with such a champion here,” Azarenka said on-court after the heart-breaking loss.

“I definitely gave it all today. You know, stepping out of this court today I will have no regrets.”

“For me she’s the greatest player of all time, ” Azarenka told media. “She took the game to the next level. Having players like that on the women’s tour right now is something priceless – something you cannot take away. Today I was close. I’m for sure going to have another opportunity to make something better. That’s what I’m looking for.”

 

 

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