To date, twenty-seven grand slams have produced four major finals, which in turn have yielded just one set won. No-one can question his ability, speed around the court, outstanding returning and seemingly relentless defensive abilities. He has vastly improved his second serve and ability to attack rather than just waiting for opponents' mistakes, but most of all, he is mentally stronger. Only time and results will be a true measure but claiming his first genuinely significant title will surely have taught Murray like nothing else that he really is good enough to beat the best.
Only once before (2010 Toronto Masters) had he beaten two of the top 3 in consecutive matches. On six occasions he beat one before losing to the next (normally in the final). But at the Olympics, he beat both Djokovic and Federer. Of course neither were on the top of their game, Novak seeming out of sorts and almost demotivated and Roger simply shattered, but that effect was greatly exacerbated by Murray's sheer aggression and dominance all over the court.
There was something different about him, determined and proud, the crowd fully unified behind him, exuding confidence. He was by quite some distance the best player at the tournament, by a long way, and it never seemed even remotely possible that he could lose. Perhaps being part of something bigger, participating as a member of Team GB, perhaps something else, but irrespective of the reason, this was a different Andy Murray.
Heading to Flushing Meadows, he must be right up there with Djokovic and Federer as a one of, if not the clear favourite. Nadal's withdrawal doesn't change the fact that Murray will have to beat them both (upsets aside), but we now know he can and very possibly, the Scot knows it now as well.
What I really do hope for is a high quality final. There are few better sights in tennis than a Grand Slam final, where both players are completely at the top of their games. So often it seems as though one player doesn't quite compete as we know they can, and it ends up as less of a contest than it has the potential for. The Wimbledon final was a perfect example of a high-class clash between the two best players in the tournament.
The variety and accuracy with which Federer distributed the ball around the court was utterly remarkable, and frankly without compare. Murray played as well as he could, finding a great balance with his solid defence providing an excellent foundation from which to attack. Maybe in a few weeks time we will be able to say that both played to their maximum but that Murray came out on top at last.