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Murray beats elements to reach final
Andy Murray felt the force of Scotland behind him as he defeated Tomas Berdych to reach a fifth grand slam tennis final at the US Open.
The New York weather was decidedly Scottish, with the match delayed by torrential rain and then played in a howling gale, which Murray coped with better than his opponent to win 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6 (9/7). And the 25-year-old was explaining his feelings at one of the stranger victories of his career when two gatecrashers entered his press conference.
Sir Sean Connery and Sir Alex Ferguson popped in to congratulate Scotland's biggest sporting star, and Ferguson joked: "We've been telling everyone how Scotland invented the world. Today we invented the wind." When the press conference resumed, Murray said: "It's great. It's obviously nice to have their support. Hopefully they'll be back for the final as well."
Describing the conditions, which frequently caused play to be stopped while rubbish or even chairs blew across the court, Murray said: "It's probably the toughest I have played in. It was pretty much four hours, and it was brutal. There were a few games in the fourth set where it calmed down a little bit, but it was very, very tough conditions to play in."
Berdych admitted Murray had coped better than he had, with the Czech making 64 unforced errors compared to 20 for his opponent. It was a major disappointment for the sixth seed, who held a 4-2 head-to-head record over Murray before the match and had played one of the best matches of his career to beat Federer in the quarter-finals.
He argued there should be the option of postponing such a big match in those conditions, saying: "It's something which should be at least thought about.
"We are here in the States where they really love a show. But this is not about a show. This is just about somehow trying to deal with the conditions and then trying to put the ball over the net. Sometimes it was impossible, but that's how it is. He dealt with that much better than I did. The wind blew it away from me."
The weather has played havoc with the tournament in the last few years and the women's final, which had been scheduled for Saturday night, was postponed well in advance because of the poor forecast.
Murray felt the conditions were playable, however, saying: "I don't know if they stop in other sports for a lot of wind. When there is a tornado around then that's pretty serious. I think that's the right time to stop. There is a skill to playing in the wind. I have never played in it when it's been that bad but people like to watch professionals struggle when they're in tough conditions.
"[Coach] Ivan [Lendl] always says he likes watching the golfers when it's blowing really hard, because it makes them hit bad shots and makes people feel a lot better [about their own game]."