Tennis: Djokovic slams US Open schedule

Novak Djokovic pleaded for an immediate end to the US Open's "ridiculous" Super Saturday scheduling after belatedly confirming the latest installment of his 14-year rivalry with great friend and foe Andy Murray.

Born seven days apart, the 25-year-olds set up their second grand slam title showdown with four-set semi-final triumphs either side of a bizarre evacuation of Flushing Meadows.

Murray enjoyed a precious extra 24 hours' rest pre-final after outclassing sixth seed Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6 (9-7) before yesterday's tornado alert in New York swept fans out the exit gates.

With the second semi-final suspended amid brutal 100km/h winds, Djokovic was forced to return today to recover from a double service break down in the opening set and complete a 2-6 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer.

The defending champion said it was high time the USTA ditched the TV-driven Super Saturday and introduced the same one-day break between the semis and final as applied at the season's other three majors in Melbourne, Paris and London.

"If I'm not mistaken, this is the fifth (straight) Monday final here at the US Open," Djokovic said.

"I'm not so sure about this Super Saturday, you know. I'm really not so sure about that anymore. I really hope that the tournament will consider changing things for next year.

"I think I'm not speaking in the name of myself only. I think most of the players will agree.

"Eventually playing back-to-back five sets with the top rivals, top guys, I think that's ridiculous from the players' perspective."

Despite his scheduling disadvantage, Djokovic - riding a 27-match winning streak at the hardcourt slams - was still favoured to inflict more major misery on Murray.

No man in history has lost his first five grand slam finals and that is the dire prospect the Scot is facing.

"Look, it's the finals of a grand slam. I don't think there is any clear favourite," Djokovic claimed.

"I'm sure he's going to be very motivated."

Murray was indeed drawing confidence from his last-up victory over Djokovic at the London Games and his five-set semi-final near-miss against the world No.2 in Melbourne in January.

"I handled a big match against him well in Australia this year," Murray said.

"It was a great match. I think both of us played very well. It came down to a couple of points.

"I know how much the Olympics meant to all of the players, and winning against him in the Olympic semi-final was a big win for me."

Djokovic, who trumped Britain's big hope in the 2011 Australian Open final, said he could never have imagined when he first encountered Murray in a junior tournament in France 14 years ago how they'd be battling it out a decade and a half later on the game's greatest stages.

"I lost that match," the Serb recalled.

"We were 11 and a half years old. He's a week older. Since then our careers went on a very similar path.

"We made a breakthrough to top 100 - maybe I did a couple of months earlier than he did - and it's great to see somebody that you grew up with, from the same generation who you are great friends with, that we're playing now in grand slam finals."

This year's Open marked the first time since Roland Garros in 2004 that neither Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal had made the semi-finals of a grand slam.

Djokovic welcomed a potential changing of the guard.

"Their rivalry is incredible. It's probably the best rivalry we have in sport," the titleholder said.

"But also it's good for tennis to see different faces in the finals of a grand slam."

-AAP

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