Andy Murray faces Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2012 US Open this evening and this could finally be the opportunity for the Scot to break his Grand Slam duck.
Andy Murray has once again reached the final of a Grand Slam and once again many commentators are claiming that this is the Scot's best ever chance of claiming a first major title. This time, however, it could be truth. Here are five reasons why:
1. Murray is Olympic champion
The importance of winning Olympic gold cannot be overstated. Not only did Murray beat Djokovic and Federer en route to winning gold but he gained enormous self-belief. Winning Masters titles are one thing but winning a tournament that all of the top dogs were desperate to win is massive. Murray described it as the biggest moment of his career and he has spoken of the difference in the way he has been treated since his victory at Wimbledon. He is now seen by outsiders as a true champion and that is being reflected in his own self-image, which will be crucial in crunch moments in the US Open final.
2. Ivan Lendl
Much has already been written about the benefits of Ivan Lendl as a coach and the Czech's influence has only been positive on Murray. He has helped the Scot with his on court demenour but he has also been a huge help off court. Lendl now shares the burden of interviews and other media commitments with his charge and he allows Murray to simply concentrate on his game. This means that the world number four is now more focused than ever on tennis and that has yielded improved results on court. Lendl also acts as a voice of reason in Murray's camp with the fiery Scot forced to listen to the 10 times Grand Slam champion's advice in a way that he may not with his mum, brother or girlfriend.
3. Murray beat Djokovic the last time they met
Novak Djokovic went through a period in 2011 when he was unstoppable but Murray beat him in Cincinatti and has subsequently won two of their last four meetings. He was a straight sets winner against the Serb in their most recent meeting at the Olympics and it is now Djokovic who must find a way of stopping the British number one, as opposed to the other way round. This means that Murray can go into today's match confident and not in awe of his opponent, as was perhaps the case in some of their previous meetings.
4. New York is a happy hunting ground for Murray
Andy Murray won the US Open junior title at Flushing Meadows in 2004 and then in 2008 he reached his first ever Grand Slam final in New York. The 25-year-old clearly enjoys playing at Flushing Meadows where the courts and the conditions are perfectly suited to his game. It would, therefore, be fitting if he was to win his first major title under the floodlights in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
5. Fifth time lucky
No player in the modern era has ever lost their first five Grand Slam finals and Murray will not want to be the first to do so. Lendl lost four and won on his fifth attempt before going on to add another nine titles to his 1984 French Open win. Murray is a year older than the Czech was when he finally made the breakthrough but there would be a sense of symmetry if he was to emulate his coach.