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On this day in 2008: Andy Murray loses grand slam final debut to Roger Federer

Andy Murray suffered defeat in his first grand slam final appearance (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
Andy Murray suffered defeat in his first grand slam final appearance (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Andy Murray’s grand slam final debut ended in disappointment in New York as Roger Federer powered to a fifth successive US Open title on this day in 2008.

Federer, who had lost his number one world ranking to Rafael Nadal and both his Australian Open and Wimbledon titles in 2008, ended the grand slam year on a high with a 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory in one hour and 51 minutes over the British number one.

Murray had had history in sight after defeating world number one Nadal in the previous night’s semi-final, aiming to become the first British male since Fred Perry at the US national championships in 1936 to win a grand slam.

It was not to be, though, as Federer, seeded second behind Nadal, completed his 34th consecutive victory at Flushing Meadows to arrest a run of three grand slam defeats in 2008.

Witnessed by a 23,763 capacity crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Federer also gained revenge for a second consecutive defeat to Murray in Dubai six months earlier.

“I had a great tournament but I came up against, in my opinion, the best player ever to play the game today,” Murray said on court after the final.

“I had got the better of him the last two times we played, and he definitely set the record straight, so congratulations to him.”

Murray picked up a cheque for one million dollars – 750,000 for his runner-up finish and a 250,000 bonus for finishing second in the summer’s US Open Series which brought him a Masters Series title in Cincinnati and a semi-final finish in Toronto.

Asked what he had learned from the experience of his first grand slam final, Murray added: “That I’ve got a lot of improving to do if I want to win one of these tournaments.

“I love playing in front of these crowds. I played three times on Arthur Ashe, and it has been the best time of my life.”

Murray went on to win the US Open in 2012, while he also took the Wimbledon title in 2013 and 2016, in addition to reaching five Australian Open finals and making one French Open final appearance.