Sept. 12, 2004
September 2004
Sept. 12, 2004
December 2004

Great Britain's Andrew Murray Raises Great Expectations with 2004 US Open Junior Singles Title

The next Tim Henman? That question was on the lips of every British journalist after Andrew Murray defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine 6-4, 6-2 to win his first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open in Flushing Meadows New York Sunday.

Murray was having none of that.

"I'm just at the bottom of the ladder and I need to try and work my way up," said the native of Dunblane, Scotland.

"I think I can do it. But just now, I'm nowhere near as good as what Tim is.?

On a day with weather as fair as the price of admission ($5), Murray, seeded third, displayed a game bearing no similarity to that of the six-time British Grand Slam semifinalist. There was no serve and volley, just a solid forehand, a talent for chasing down every drop shot and a deft collection of spins.

All those virtues were on display in the first game of the match, as there were seven deuces before Stakhovsky finally held. He sensed then that it would be a difficult day.

?I had big problems with my serve today,? shrugged Stakhovsky, the seventh seed. ?From the first, it was such a struggle to hold, plus Andrew made no errors.?

?But the biggest problem,? Stakhovsky repeated, ?was my serve.?

In his semifinal conquest of second seed Andreas Beck--the favorite once three-time 2004 Grand Slam holder Gael Monfils of France was eliminated?Stakhovsky displayed a brilliant backhand and the ability to finish a point at the net. But with his serve deserting him on Sunday, and an opponent more nimble than the German baseliner, the eighteen-year-old Ukrainian would close his junior career with a finals loss.

Murray?s junior career is far from over. Though a professional, he is only 17, with an opportunity to raise the crystal cup at the US Open once again. Murray would also like to advance deeper into the draw at Wimbledon than he did this year (losing in the third round) and to play next year at Roland Garros on his favorite surface, clay, a Grand Slam he skipped this year to rest his knee. He is a non-playing member of Great Britain?s Davis Cup squad, which begins World Group playoffs versus Austria September 24-26, giving him very little time to celebrate.

Another Henman? Certainly much to soon to tell, but perhaps the Spanish-trained clay court version will bloom in Scotland next year.

Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)