Murray ready for challenge
Andy Murray is desperately hoping the one gaping hole in his world-class CV will be filled by grand slam silverware.
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The 25-year-old will contest his fifth slam final at the US Open on Monday night - 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 Serbian crushed Murray in the Australian Open final last year while Roger Federer has been the immovable obstacle three times, most recently at Wimbledon in a defeat that left his opponent sobbing into a microphone on Centre Court.
Victory over Federer on the same stage three weeks later to win Olympic gold gave Murray both joy and belief, and just how much belief will become clear when he takes on the world No 2.
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.
"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 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."
Andy Murray factfile
1987: Born May 15, Dunblane, Scotland.
1999: December - Wins junior Orange Bowl title in Miami.
2004: September - Becomes first British winner of US Open boys' title, beating Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.
2005: March - Becomes youngest British Davis Cup player, aged 17, in match against Israel.
June - Defeats Radek Stepanek to become first Scot to reach third round at Wimbledon. Loses to David Nalbandian.
October - Reaches first ATP final at Thailand Open, losing to Roger Federer.
2006: February 20 - Claims first ATP title by beating Lleyton Hewitt in San Jose.
February 28 - Moves above Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in rankings to become British number one.
April 14 - Splits from coach Mark Petchey.
July 3 - Loses to Marcos Baghdatis in fourth round at Wimbledon.
July 26 - American Brad Gilbert appointed Murray's new coach.
2007: January 22 - Loses five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal in Australian Open fourth round.
February 18 - Defends San Jose title with victory over Ivo Karlovic.
October 28 - Wins St Petersburg Open, beating Fernando Verdasco.
November 14 - Splits with coach Gilbert.
2008: July 2 - Loses to Nadal in Wimbledon quarter-finals.
August 3 - Defeats Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati to claim first Masters Series title.
August 12 - Suffers first-round defeat by Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei at Beijing Olympics.
September 7 - Beats top seed Nadal in semi-finals of US Open to reach first grand slam final.
September 8 - Beaten 6-2 7-5 6-2 by defending champion Federer in US Open final.
September 21 - Wins his singles matches but Great Britain lose to Austria to be relegated from Davis Cup World Group.
October 19 - Wins Madrid Masters with victory over Gilles Simon.
October 26 - Wins St Petersburg Open, beating Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev.
2009: January 11 - Wins Qatar Open, beating Andy Roddick.
March - Wins Miami Masters, beating Djokovic.
May 11 - Overtakes Djokovic to become world number three.
June 2 - Loses to Fernando Gonzalez in French Open quarter-finals.
June 14 - Becomes first British player since 1938 to win Queen's Club title, beating James Blake in the final.
July 3 - Reaches first Wimbledon semi-final but loses 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-6 to Roddick.
August 16 - Wins Montreal Masters with victory over Juan Martin Del Potro, and becomes world number two.
November 8 - Wins comeback event in Valencia after wrist injury. Later finishes year at world number four.
2010: January 31 - Loses 6-3 6-4 7-6 to Federer in Australian Open final.
May 30 - Beaten by Tomas Berdych in French Open fourth round.
July 2 - Loses Wimbledon semi-final 6-4 7-6 6-4 to Nadal.
July 27 - Splits with coach Miles Maclagan after two and a half years.
August 15 - Beats Nadal and Federer as he defends his Masters title in Toronto.
October 17 - Beats Federer in final to win Shanghai Masters.
November 27 - Loses 7-6 3-6 7-6 to Nadal after more than three hours in a classic semi-final at ATP World Tour Finals in London.
2011: January 30 - Beaten 6-4 6-2 6-3 by Djokovic in second successive Australian Open final.
June 3 - Loses 6-4 7-5 6-4 to eventual champion Nadal in French Open semi-final.
June 13 - Beats Tsonga to win AEGON Championships at Queen's Club.
July 1 - Loses 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4 against Nadal in Wimbledon semi-final.
September 10 - Loses 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2 to Rafael Nadal in US Open semi-final.
September 18 - Helps Great Britain win Davis Cup promotion with a 5-0 victory over Hungary in Glasgow.
October 2 - Beats American Donald Young 6-2 6-0 in Thailand Open final.
October 9 - Beats Nadal 3-6 6-2 6-0 to win Japan Open final.
October 16 - Completes hat-trick of tournament victories by beating David Ferrer 7-5 6-4 in Shanghai Masters final, to take him above Federer and to number three in world rankings.
November 22 - Pulls out of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a groin injury.
December 31 - Hires eight-time grand slam winner Ivan Lendl as his new coach.
2012: January 27 - Loses 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 7-5 to Djokovic in epic Australian Open semi-final lasting four hours and 50 minutes.
June 6 - Murray's French Open run ends in the quarter-finals with defeat by David Ferrer.
July 6 - Reaches Wimbledon final for the first time with a 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-5 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
July 8 - Federer denies Murray in the Wimbledon final, winning 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 to land a record-equalling seventh title. Murray breaks down in tears in his on-court interview, saying: "I'm getting closer."
August 5: Wins Olympic gold medal in singles at Wimbledon by beating Federer 6-2 6-1 6-4, and then takes silver in mixed doubles with Laura Robson after a final defeat to Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka.
September 8: Books place in fifth grand slam final with US Open semi-final win over Tomas Berdych, taking the match 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6 (9/7).