Champion Djokovic to meet Murray in U.S. Open final

Story highlights

Second seed Novak Djokovic wins through to U.S. Open final for third year in a row

Serbian will continue his title defense against world No. 4 Andy Murray on Monday

He bounces back from dropping his first set of the tournament in New York

Djokovic ends hopes of David Ferrer, still seeking to reach his first grand slam final

CNN  — 

Novak Djokovic has already denied Andy Murray his first grand slam title once, and the world No. 2 will again stand in the Olympic gold medalist’s way in Monday’s U.S. Open final.

Djokovic kept his title defense alive with a commanding performance against David Ferrer on Sunday, rebounding after dropping his first set of the tournament to win their delayed semifinal 2-6 6-1 6-4 6-2.

The Serbian had struggled in Saturday’s strong winds and trailed 5-2 when play was halted, but he was unstoppable in more benign conditions as he reached the final for the third year in a row.

“It’s a huge relief to get through this match. David’s a great competitor, he’s one of the fittest guys on tour and he never gives up,” Djokovic told reporters after a match lasting two and a half hours – 90 minutes less than Murray’s win over Tomas Berdych on Saturday.

“We were all praying for less wind today. He handled the wind much better than I did but I came in today as a different player and I’m just really happy to get to another grand slam final.”

U.S. Open latest scores

Djokovic lost his first grand slam final at the 2007 U.S. Open but was able to quickly bounce back with his breakthrough win in Australia just months later.

Murray, however, lost the 2008 New York final, in Melbourne in 2010 and 2011 – the first of those against Djokovic – and then at Wimbledon this year.

However, he beat Djokovic and Roger Federer on the way to victory at London 2012 and is now seeking to end a run that has seen that duo and Rafael Nadal win 29 of the past 30 majors.

“I don’t think there is any clear favorite,” said Djokovic, who has an 8-5 edge over Murray in their career meetings.

“He’s looking for his first title, I’m sure he’s going to be very motivated. I hope we can come up with the best tennis for this crowd.”

Murray has the backing of high-profile fellow Scots Sean Connery and Alex Ferguson.

“That’s the first time I’ve met Sir Alex and first time I met Sir Sean, as well,” Murray said after the James Bond actor and Manchester United football manager gatecrashed his post-match press conference on Saturday.

“So that’s obviously nice to have their support. Hopefully they’ll be back for the final, as well.”

Ferrer is still waiting to play in his first grand slam final after 40 attempts.

The Spanish fourth seed, who also reached the semis at Flushing Meadows in 2007, served out for the first set on Sunday but then lost five games in a row.

Djokovic won the first four games of the fourth set against the French Open semifinalist as he won through to his ninth grand slam final.

The 25-year-old will be looking to cap a season in which he won the opening major but then failed to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slam titles when he lost to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.

Djokovic then surrendered his No. 1 ranking when he lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon and Roger Federer won a seventh title on the hallowed grass courts of the All England Club to match Pete Sampras’ Open era record and afterwards surpass the American’s landmark number of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings.

Djokovic cannot return to No. 1 even if he retains his title, despite Federer’s quarterfinal exit against Berdych – his earliest at the hard-court tournament since 2004.

He will be looking for revenge against Murray after failing to win a medal at London 2012, losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the bronze playoff, and is in strong form on his favored surface after last month winning the Toronto title and reaching the final in Cincinnati.