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Fearless Murray believes he can win US Open final

September 08, 2008 14:37 IST

One win away from becoming the first British man to win a grand slam title in 72 years, Andy Murray said he will go into Monday's US Open final with no fear, believing he has the game to beat Roger Federer.

The 21-year-old became only the third British man since Fred Perry won the US Open in 1936 to reach a grand slam final when he beat world number one Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 in a rain-interrupted semi-final on Sunday.

Four-time defending champion Federer stands in his way but Murray has won two of their three meetings.

"I played well enough to beat the number one player in the world over two days and I've beaten Roger in the past," Murray told reporters.

"I have the tennis to compete with those guys. I just have to make sure I do it for three out of five sets rather than for a set and a half, two sets."

Leading Nadal by two sets but down a break in the third, in a match held over from Saturday because of rain, Murray withstood a fightback from the Spaniard to reach his first grand slam final.

Federer, whose semi-final win over Novak Djokovic beat the rain on Saturday, will have had an extra day's rest going into the final, but Murray said he was not concerned by the quick turnaround.

"Ideally, I think you'd want to be in (Federer's) position," Murray admitted.

"I think it's slightly better, but it's a grand slam final and I'm not going to let 24 hours of rest or having to play today or whatever get in the way of giving 110 percent.

"I'll try my best to win the match. That's not going to be the difference tomorrow."

Until he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July, Murray had never been beyond the fourth round at a grand slam.

Federer, by contrast, has reached 18 consecutive grand slam semi-finals and will be chasing his 13th major.

"I've played well against him in the past," Murray said. "(But) I think a slam final is different to the match that I played against him before.

"He's got loads of experience in these situations and it's something new for me. I know I'm going to have to play great to have a chance of winning, but I've played well the last couple of weeks."

Should Murray win on Monday, it will be the first year that Federer has not won a grand slam title since 2002.

The Scot, though, regarded the view that the former world number one was fading as laughable.

"He made the final at Wimbledon, the final of the French Open, the semis of Australian Open, and he's in the final here," he said.

"I don't understand why everyone thinks he's not playing well. He's played unbelievable in the best tournaments and he's in the final for the fifth straight year here.

"It's a ridiculous run. I think he's playing great. I just think the level of tennis has got better."

(Editing by Larry Fine)

Simon Cambers
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