Sunday 11 December 2016

Murray reaches final as Djokovic falters

Published 16/10/2016 | 02:30

Novak Djokovic during his match with Roberto Bautista Agut in the Shanghai Masters. Photo: Andy Wong
Novak Djokovic during his match with Roberto Bautista Agut in the Shanghai Masters. Photo: Andy Wong

World No 1 Novak Djokovic suffered a shock 6-4 6-4 loss to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut and his fierce rival Andy Murray beat France's Gilles Simon 6-4 6-3 in the Shanghai Masters semi-finals yesterday.

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Djokovic, a 12-time grand slam champion, made 29 unforced errors against the 15th seed and converted just two of nine break points. But he saved three match points before Bautista Agut broke his serve for the fourth time to wrap up victory in one hour 48 minutes.

Djokovic, who smashed his racket after losing the first set and tore his shirt during the match, was left fuming after umpire Carlos Bernardes gave him a time violation when changing his shirt.

"He was the star of the show. That's what he wanted to be today," the 29-year-old fumed. "But there are definitely things that I need to regain from the emotional, mental point of view."

Bautista Agut will play Murray who will play his second successive final in Asia following 6-4 6-3 semi-final victory over Gilles Simon in the Shanghai Masters.

World No 2 Murray has now won 18 sets in a row on the ATP World Tour and came to Shanghai after winning his fifth tour-level title of the season at the China Open, where he did not drop a set.

Neither Murray nor Simon could hold onto their serve with seven breaks inside the first 10 games of the match before the Frenchman's stubborn defence finally broke.

Murray dropped his serve in the opening match to give Simon an early advantage which he took in the next game.

However, the Scot displayed impressive form to break the world No 32 twice to rattle off four successive games to lead 4-2. Simon hit back with a break of his own before the two traded two more with Simon serving to stay in the set at 4-5 down.

He looked on course to secure a rare hold at 40-15 up but he lost four straight points to give Murray another break and more importantly, the first set.

The second set returned to some normality with the Briton holding his first game but then doubled his advantage with another break on the Simon serve.

Both men managed to hold for the next three games before Murray got control of the 31-year-old's service game again to go 5-1 up and with the chance to serve out the match.

Simon extended the match further, responding with a break to reduce the deficit to 5-3 but Murray sealed the match in typically powerful fashion.

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