Shanghai, Oct 18 (IANS) World number one Novak Djokovic was at the peak of his game as he cruised into the Shanghai Rolex Masters final with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 victory over longtime rival Andy Murray.
The Serb sets up a final clash against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who dispatched eighth seed Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 earlier in the other semi-final on Saturday, Xinhua reported.
“It’s the best match of the tournament at the right time against a player who was in form and one of my biggest rivals,” Djokovic said. “Whenever we play against each other, it’s always exciting. It’s always a huge challenge. But I was ready. I came in from the very first point with the right intensity, played great, on a very high level.”
“I had a very high first-serve percentage throughout the entire match. He had a very low one. I think that also made a difference in terms of the scoreline,” added the Serb, who’s looking for his third Shanghai Masters title.
On the other hand, world number two Murray felt disappointed with the way he played.
“I served poorly in the first set especially. You can’t afford to do that against Novak with the way he’s playing just now, the amount of confidence he has in his game, and the conditions over here. You have to do better than that.”
“I made it extremely difficult for myself. I just couldn’t get myself in it. Even the second set, got that break at the beginning and was hoping to kick on a little bit. Just didn’t serve well at all tonight. It was tough,” said Murray.
In the other semi-final, Tsonga had to dig deep before edging past Nadal with a gripping three-set victory.
“All along the season I worked hard to be able to play these matches,” said Tsonga. “When it happens, I’m really happy to have worked hard because I know I can count on my body. It’s something great for me because it was not always like this. Today I’m a lot stronger than I was maybe few years ago. I think it’s good for me.”
In men’s doubles final, fifth seeds Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini of Italy will take on sixth seeds Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Brazilian Marcelo Melo.