- Last Updated: 11:19 AM, September 9, 2012
- Posted: 12:35 AM, September 9, 2012
If Andy Murray wins the U.S. Open tomorrow, you can talk winds — the winds of change.
Murray will go for his first Grand Slam title tomorrow and try to bring an end to the celebrated Great Britain Slam drought. Two of the most famous Scotsman, actor Sean Connery and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, are on the Murray bandwagon, interrupting his post-match press conference to pose with him for pictures.
Murray, arguably the third most famous Scotsman, admitted he had never met the James Bond actor or legendary soccer coach until today.
“I’ve been coming here to New York the last three years and explained how Scotland invented the world,’’ Ferguson said. “Today we invented the wind.’’
Murray made the adjustment to yesterday’s excessive winds in ousting No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) in the semifinals. He now faces the winner of today’s Novak Djokovic-David Ferrer semifinal that was suspended because of a tornado warning with Ferrer up 5-2 in the first set early last night. Djokovic-Ferrer will resume today at 11 a.m. and the men’s final has been shifted to Monday for the fifth straight year.
Murray already has achieved historical milestones. He became the first man to win an Olympic gold and reach the U.S. Open final in the same year. He is also the first Brit to make two Slam finals in the same year in the Open Era (since 1968). And no Brit has won a Grand Slam since Fred Perry in 1936.
With the winds whipping yesterday just 18 miles from where a tornado touched down in Rockaway Beach, Murray was befuddled by the weather early. But he finally used it in his favor as Berdych melted down in the bizarre conditions. Berdych committed 64 unforced errors while Murray had just 20. Murray called it “the toughest wind I’ve ever played in.’’
Highlighting Berdych’s frustration, the sixth seed from the Czech Republic started laughing uncontrollably after he was blown by the wind a few feet as he went to toss for his serve. Right to the end, in the fourth-set tiebeaker, Berdych discontinued his serve four times because of windblown tosses. Murray dug down in the tiebreaker, rallying from 5-2 down to close out the match.
“It affected me a lot because I have a higher toss,’’ said Berdych, who beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. “He dealt with that much better.’’
Berdych went as far as indicating the semifinal should have been postponed with winds as fierce as yesterday. “Our sport deserves to have some rule if the conditions are like that,’’ he said. “It’s something we should think about.’’
Murray disagreed, however, and also took a poke at Berdych.
“There are certain rules in tennis that were broken many times today. Took us a long time to hit serves, sometimes two minutes before points. Maybe they should be enforced or not play. It’s a skill to playing in the wind.’’
Murray ditched his trademark white ballcap because of an incident in the first set. He lost his chapeau during one rally on a break point after hitting a drop shot. Berdych didn’t come close to it, but argued to the umpire the hat distracted him.
USTA rules states the umpire has an option of awarding a do-over if the fallen hat affected the point. The umpire ruled in Berdych’s favor. The point was played over and Murray lost the game when his lob sailed long.
There were other nutty scenes involving the wind. The player chairs were knocked over multiple times, a tennis bag was blown onto the court as well as other debris. There was one knuckleball winner when a routine shot to Murray bounced and blew away from him.
Murray looked lost early, hitting a lot of awkward slices from the baseline because of the wind. At times, he looked more like a paddleball player than a tennis player, eschewing the topspin. But he regrouped and played a basic, consistent game, keeping it in play.
On a day where it was even difficult for fans to walk across the grounds without being knocked around, that was good enough to make some history.Follow @NYPostsports