Andy Murray made it three straight over Tomas Berdych this year with a quick 6-1, 6-3 win in straight sets in the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals. Murray has won seven of the eight sets the two have played in 2015.
Early Trouble For Berdych
The fifth-seeded Czech saw a sign of what was to come early in the opening set. After an exchange of service holds to open the match 1-1, Murray began to get into the Berdych serve as he crafted his first break point of the match in the third game. The Scot converted for a 2-1 lead when Berdych sent a forehand wide and then was able to fend off a couple of break points in his next service game to dash out to a 3-1 margin. Murray stayed relentless on Berdych's serve for the remainder of the set as he would break the Czech twice more in winning five straight games for a 6-1 opening set win. Berdych did very little right on his serve in the set, winning just 41 percent of his service points. Berdych was getting his first serve in less than half the time which allowed the Scot to win nine of 15 points off his second serve.
Murray Rolls Through The Second Set
Berdych would see his one fleeting chance to get back in the match in the opening game on Murray's serve. The Czech saw a break point, but the third seed saved it to hold for a 1-0 lead. Berdych would fall under immediate pressure again on his serve as he gave Murray a look at triple break point. The fifth seed would save the first two, but Murray secured the break on the third try for a 2-0 lead. Murray would hold his next service game to make it nine straight games that he won at that point. Berdych would finally get on the board at 3-1, but it was far to late to mount a rally. Murray was precise with his first serve in the entire set, winning 17 of 19 points and 22 of 28 overall on his serve en route to closing out the Czech 6-3 in the second.
Murray credited a lot of the win to getting an early read on Berdych's serve, telling Sky Sports, "I got a good read on his serve and I served well myself. I was able to get into almost every one of his service games and made it very difficult especially after the beginning of the match for him to win games.”
The third seed finished with 25 winners for the match against 14 unforced errors. Berdych was much sloppier with just 16 winners and 30 unforced errors. Murray also did a fine job to hold off all three break points he gave out in the match. Berdych was broken on half of the eight break points off his serve. The win is Murray's 64th of the season and sets up a mouth watering semifinal between the top two players in the world.
Saturday Semifinal Against Djokovic
Top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic will be looking to get back on the winning track against world number two Andy Murray in Saturday's semifinal. Murray broke a four match losing skid to Djokovic at the Rogers Cup in August by beating the top seed in three sets. Sixteen of their 28 career meetings have come in Masters events. Djokovic holds the overall head-to-head lead at 19-9 on Murray and 11-5 at Masters events. They have met once before at the Shanghai Masters in 2012. Djokovic took the title over Murray that year 5-7, 7-6 (11), 6-3.