Novak Djokovic once again produced a fine performance against world number two Andy Murray. It was a comprehensive beatdown of the Brit by the Serb as he knocked out his the three seed 6-1, 6-3 to earn a spot in the final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated Rafael Nadal in a three set thriller earlier in the day.
Murray Survives Early Scare But Djokovic Dominates Rest Of The Way
Murray knew that if he had any chance against Djokovic, he had to get a high percentage of first serves in. It nearly went all wrong for him in the opening game falling behind 0-30 but used his “get out of jail card” early after an ill-advised drop shot as the Brit read where Djokovic was going to get the point. An ace and a forehand saved two break chances as he would hold and pass his first early test.
After that though, the Djokovic wrecking ball came through to destroy Murray. A quick hold to love to start his opening service game, and the world number two was already in major trouble. The three-time major champion of 2015 made it eight consecutive points as the Brit double faulted on triple break point, and Djokovic was all of a sudden up 2-1.
The dominance continued as he gleefully knifed backhand slices to Murray’s backhand wing and found himself a double break up after yet another double fault from the two-time Grand Slam champion. Every foundation of Murray’s game looked subpar as the world number one continued to raise his level in every asset of the game and did so once again with a third consecutive break as Murray sent a backhand long to give the set 6-1 to Djokovic. Sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story, but they did in this matchup as Murray hit 17 unforced errors compared to just one for the Serb.
Back-To-Back Breaks Before Djokovic Puts The Hammer Down
The world number two looked more lively to begin the second set with a spirited effort to begin the set with a break. A devastating return earned Murray the break, and a hold would have really solidified his mental fortitude after that opening set beatdown.
An exciting encounter once again between these two world-class players occurred in the second game as Djokovic broke back. At 30-40, Murray showed off his fantastic court coverage with Djokovic showing off his stellar defense as they returned every punch that they threw, but the world number two could not get to the drop volley to give the Serb the break which commentator Mark Petchey labeled as “one of the points of the year”.
The Serb consolidated his break back with a hold at love which was capped with an ace and would get a second consecutive break to go up 3-1. The frustration was setting in for the Brit as he continued to push and give it his all, but the Serb would not budge one bit as Murray trudged back to his chair in disgust down 1-4. Both men held each of their serves for the rest of the way as Djokovic displayed tennis of the highest order for the victory.
The Serbian now finds himself in another final in China as he looks to make it two titles in as many weeks on tennis’ Asian swing.