The US Open’s first marquee match-up between two of the Big Four has finally arrived, as Wednesday night’s quarterfinal clash between No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 8 Andy Murray will take place under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Although Djokovic owns their head-to-head record, both come into the match with plenty of confidence behind them.
As the No. 1 Serb and 2011 titlist, Djokovic has not yet dropped a set here in New York, and he has won four of the last five matches he has faced against his good friend and rival. Murray, the 2012 champion, is fresh off a solid straight-sets win over the always tough Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, where the Scot appeared in top form and notched his first Top 10 win since winning Wimbledon last year. Not only that, but Murray has claimed his previous two Grand Slam meetings over Djokovic, both of which were in finals and won him the title.
Without a doubt, Murray is playing the best tennis we have seen in a while, though a couple of four-set road bumps en route to the quarterfinals here have kept him on court for a total of 10 hours, compared to Djokovic’s six-and-a-half. While these minor hiccups indicate that Murray has struggled at times to make it through the draw, he knows that he can still survive a marathon match, just as he did in winning the title after a five-hour tussle with Djokovic just two years ago.
Statistically speaking, Djokovic has had the stronger serve in his previous four matches, winning 92 percent of his service games and facing only 13 break points, nine of which he saved. Murray has not fared as well, having faced 37 break points and saving 24. Considering the fact that both men are hitting their returns well, tonight’s match could very well be decided on who can produce a stronger service game. Either way, much will be revealed in their chances for the title, as both are facing their toughest test yet in the US Open draw.