NEW YORK — With its meteorological and emotional intensity, its drama kings and queens, Super Saturday has been the centerpiece of the U.S. Open for nearly three decades, a day of both men's semifinals and the women's final bookended by the women's semis and men's final.
That changes next year, as the star players' requests for more rest before their finals will be met with a regularly scheduled day off between the semifinals and final. Fittingly, this final edition of Super Saturday was haunted by weather that will give most of the finalists a day of rest anyway.
After a rain delay of more than an hour, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych endured wind that blew service tosses, hats, debris and furniture haphazardly around the court. Murray handled the conditions better to pull out a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory to make his second U.S. Open final.
With more severe weather predicted for the rest of the day, the women's final between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka was moved from Saturday night to this afternoon. Then the second men's semi, between Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer, was halted in the first set with Ferrer leading 5-2 and scheduled to continue this morning.
With all that reworking, the men's final was moved from today to Monday afternoon.
This is the fifth straight year the tournament will fail to finish on time because of weather. "I would say we're getting very tired of having Monday finals," tournament director David Brewer said.
At least Murray, seeded third, and Berdych, seeded sixth, got to finish, even if it meant dealing with 20 mph wind that blew a changeover chair onto the court on one point and yanked Murray's hat off during another.
"It was brutal," said Murray, who plays for his first Grand Slam title in his fifth major final. "You had to focus for every single point. … Some of the hardest conditions I've ever played in, for sure, and I come from Scotland, so that's saying something."
Berdych, who had 64 unforced errors to Murray's 20, wondered whether a rule should be in place to prevent matches from being played when the wind is a big factor. "I don't see any reason that my game would just crash" other than the wind, said Berdych, who made the semis by beating Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. "It was something (that) really (affected) my game. But that's how it is."
The most entertaining moment of the day came when Scotsmen Sean Connery and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson crashed Murray's news conference.
"Excuse me for interrupting," Connery said right after Murray answered a question about getting a day of rest before the final.
He then introduced Murray to Ferguson, whose English Premier league soccer team is in the middle of a 12-day break. Murray and his mother, Judy, posed for pictures with the two.
"You smell of wine," Murray told his mother.
"He made me have wine," she said of Ferguson. "He's just been telling me that Scotland invented the world."
Murray had never met Connery and Ferguson, though he had spoken with Connery by phone.