As the last major of the calendar year, the US Open annually brings down the curtain on the Grand Slam season with some of the most unforgettable matches in tennis history. In 2012, it featured a marquee finale pitting the defending champion Novak Djokovic, pursuing his fourth straight hard-court Grand Slam title, against reigning Olympic champion Andy Murray, looking for his first Grand Slam title in his fifth Slam final.
The two men entered the match with much in common. They were born one week apart in 1987 and grew up as junior rivals and subsequently as Top 5 players, each initially sitting just outside the top level set by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. But where Djokovic broke through with a transcendant 2011, Murray was still fighting to capture his first major crown. The Scotsman posted his biggest career victory earlier in the summer, taking the gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games, and was hoping to translate that into a victory in Flushing Meadows. Djokovic, however, had no designs on relinquishing his title, hoping to add it to the Australian Open championship he won earlier in the year and the three majors he captured in 2011. The result would be one of the most memorable men's singles finals of the Open Era.