ATP Shanghai: Andy Murray downs Gilles Simon to reach final

Andy Murray is through to a third Masters final of the year, following a straight-sets victory over France's Gilles Simon. He will play underdog Roberto Bautista Agut after upsetting Novak Djokovic earlier.

ATP Shanghai: Andy Murray downs Gilles Simon to reach final
Andy Murray celebrates winning a point against Gilles Simon (Photo: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Andy Murray
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Gilles Simon

In the last of the semifinal matches at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, Brit Andy Murray defeated Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3 to advance to a tenth ATP final of 2016 where he will face Roberto Bautista Agut after upsetting Novak Djokovic.

Murray comes from a break down to win opening set

Following a long rally, Simon pounced on the short dropshot from Murray and placed a passing shot to gain a break point, 30-40. An unforced error from Murray in the next point allowed Simon to break before going on to hold serve and  get off to a 0-2 lead. At this point, the Frenchman was dictating and winning the longer rallies. But, Murray managed to work his way back into the set.

The world number two held serve to love impressively to get on the scoreboard and then applied pressure on the Simon serve. Following another long exchange at the baseline, a forehand wide from the world number 32 handed Murray a break back point. The three-time Grand Slam champion broke after forcing an error from the racket of the Frenchman.

Andy Murray returning a shot to Gilles Simon (Photo: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Andy Murray returns a shot to Gilles Simon (Photo: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

Murray consolidated, went ahead for the first time. Down 3-2, Simon gave Murray a cheap point via an error. The Frenchman then went on to save the break point but another one came for Murray as he took his chance, this time, around and broke the Frenchman for the second time in three games. In the next game, Simon composed himself, ran away to a love-40 lead and after attacking the 31-year-old in the rally, Murray raced to the net and put wide a volley for 4-3.

Having had a break point saved, Murray then came back at Simon, attacked his serve and drew the error. Serving for the set, the two-time Shanghai champion faltered and Simon broke. The pair continued to trade breaks and the tenth game proved crucial as Murray broke through to win the opening set 6-4 with a sumptuous lob to get the fifth successive break of serve. 

Murray grabs early break, wins set and books spot in final

Murray got off to a strong start in the second set. With Simon's first serve letting him down it then gave Murray a chance as he struck a mighty blow to any hopes Simon had by breaking for 2-0 with his fifth break point. The Scot allowed Simon a chance back into the set as a break point arrived. In typical Murray fashion, he saved the break point and finished the game with a thumping ace for 3-0.

The Frenchman eased all worries and held to serve to get on the scoreboard in the set. The Scot continued his blistering form, breaking Simon at will to register a 5-1 lead. However, serving for the match, Simon showed great character and managed claw one of the two breaks back before holding serve and forcing Murray to serve for the set again. With the pressure on the world number two, he blasted two huge first serves to gain victory and book his spot in a third Masters final of the year.