Andy Murray will take on Tomas Berdych in a huge match on Saturday, which will decide who makes it through to the final of the 2012 US Open.You can watch and bet on Murray v Berdych live for free at bet365 > live tennis.
Two former slam runner-ups will face-off today in the Arthur Ashe Stadium for a place in the final of this year’s US Open. With Novak Djokovic still in the draw and scheduled to play today too, the match being referred to here, of course, is a massive semi-final between Britain’s Andy Murray Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
Murray entered his quarter-final against Marin Cilic having dismantled Milos Raonic in round four. For whatever reason though, it was the Croatian who took the initiative early on. Cilic took the first set comfortably, and then broke Murray twice for a 5-1 lead in the second.
At this point Murray switched on, and we saw the same player who had made Raonic look average. The typical flurry of precise and deadly groundstrokes began to fly from the Scot’s racquet, and Cilic looked out of his depth in most of the rallies that went beyond five strokes. Murray left the court with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-0 victory.
Berdych earned his place in the final four with a sensational 7-6(1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over world No. 1 Roger Federer. The Czech has struggled at this slam in previous years, and when he lost the third set there were many who expected him to crumble. Berdych didn’t relent though, and continued to bombard Fedex with his trademark crushing forehand.
This semi-final could turn out to be a key moment in the career of both players. Both are looking for a maiden slam success, having shown the potential to beat the world’s best on certain occasions in recent years. In a different era, without the presence of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, perhaps these two would already be slam winners heading into this contest.
So who’s going to win today? Well that’s not an easy question to answer. Berdych was a persistent thorn in Murray’s side between 2006 and 2011, beating him four times in a row. In 2012 though, the pairing have a 1-1 record.
A few factors will determine the outcome of this clash. Murray will be looking to wear down his opponent, and if he can keep his unforced errors down whilst maintaining heavy pressure on Berdych he should be able to dominate.
Berdych, meanwhile, could benefit hugely from keeping lengthy rallies to a minimum with his punishing groundstrokes. He might also get rewarded for rushing the net after his big serve. Few hit passing shots better than Murray though, so he’ll have to pick his moments wisely. The Czech isn’t renowned for his decision-making, but the right strategy could make all the difference.