Murray gears up for US Open title tilt

Andy Murray celebrates winning Olympic gold last month

Andy Murray celebrates winning Olympic gold last month

First published in National Sport News © by

Andy Murray is desperately hoping that tonight the one gaping hole in his world-class CV will be filled by grand slam silverware.

The 25-year-old will contest his fifth slam final at the US Open - also the scene of his first in 2008 - and four years later he is still waiting for it finally to be his moment. It will certainly not be easy, for once again one of the sport's three titans - defending champion Novak Djokovic - is standing in his way.

The Scot said: "It's the last thing that I really want to achieve in my career, so that's why it's obviously very important for me. Winning the Olympics did, for me, take a bit of the pressure off. I did feel a lot better after that. I maybe had less doubts about myself and my place in the game just now."

Murray added: "You saw at Wimbledon how much that meant to me. It's obviously not easy to lose another slam final, so I hope this one is a different story."

Ever since Murray won the junior title in 2004, Flushing Meadows has seemed the venue most likely to bring him a senior grand slam title. He beat Rafael Nadal in a rain-affected semi-final four years later to reach the showpiece but Roger Federer and the occasion proved too much.

Murray said: "I'm obviously a lot more mature now. I have had a lot more experience in these sort of situations. It all came round very quick. After playing Rafa and going from Armstrong to Ashe and then playing the next day, it seemed to go by very, very quickly. I hope I deal with it better."

It was Djokovic who was held up by the weather this time but he was not detained too long on Sunday in beating David Ferrer and looked in ominously good form.

The pair are tied at 2-2 this season, with Djokovic winning an epic Australian Open semi-final but Murray prevailing at the same stage in the Olympics, and the defending champion is expecting a battle.

He said: "Most of our matches were very close and only small margins decided the winner. That's something that is expected in a way, because we have similar games.

"We are big rivals and we have been at the top of the men's game for a long time, so we know each other really well. The last match he won at the Olympic Games. That was also a close one. But it's a different surface. I guess there is no clear favourite."

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