Djokovic again to play for men’s title in U.S. Open

Second-seeded Novak Djokovic faces No. 3 Andy Murray today at 4 p.m. (WCSC-TV/CBS) in the U.S. Open men’s singles championship match in New York.

NEW YORK — The weather was much better at the U.S. Open on Sunday. So was Novak Djokovic.

Under a cloudless blue sky, in only a hint of wind, defending champion Djokovic got his game into high gear and reached his third consecutive final at Flushing Meadows by beating fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in a match suspended a day earlier.

“I was a different player,” the second-seeded Djokovic said. “I felt much more comfortable on the court today than I did yesterday, (when) obviously the conditions were more brutal.”

Ferrer led a shaky Djokovic 5-2 in the semifinal’s opening set Saturday, when wind was whipping at more than 20 mph and play was halted because of an impending rainstorm. When they resumed about 18 hours later, Ferrer held serve to take that set — and then Djokovic quickly took control, using the brand of defense-to-offense baseline excellence that has carried the Serb to four of the past seven Grand Slam titles.

“We were all praying for less wind today,” Djokovic said. “He handled the wind much better than I did.”

In today’s final (4 p.m., WCSC-TV/CBS), Djokovic will face Olympic champion Andy Murray, who beat Tomas Berdych 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7) on Saturday. It’s the fifth consecutive year the U.S. Open men’s title match has been played a day later than planned.

Later Sunday, Serena Williams came back to take the last four games and beat No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 for her fourth U.S. Open title and 15th Grand Slam championship. The final was shifted from Saturday to Sunday because of the weather, the fourth time since 2008 the women’s event went long, too.

Murray was able to enjoy a day off Sunday, while Djokovic had to put in some work. But in the end, it wasn’t too taxing: Djokovic played only about two hours and was finished with Ferrer by 1:20 p.m., giving him more than 24 hours to rest before taking on Murray.

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci added to their career years with a U.S. Open doubles title.

The second-seeded Italians beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-2 Sunday for their second Grand Slam championship — and second in three months after they broke through at the French Open.

The best friends faced each other in the singles quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows, with Errani winning to become the first Italian women to reach the semis at this tournament in the Open era.