OTD: Novak Djokovic praises Bernard Tomic's 'smart tennis' after Shanghai battle

Tomic and Djokovic met in the 2015 Shanghai Masters quarterfinal.

by Dzevad Mesic
OTD: Novak Djokovic praises Bernard Tomic's 'smart tennis' after Shanghai battle

Seven years ago today, Bernard Tomic earned praise from Novak Djokovic following their Shanghai Masters clash. In the 2015 Shanghai Masters quarterfinal, Tomic tested Djokovic but the Serb managed to escape with a 7-6 (6) 6-1 victory.

After the match, Djokovic praised Tomic for playing "smart tennis" and suggested that surviving a tight first set was probably the key to his victory. "It was a very good first set. High quality tennis from both of us. Especially Bernard played some smart tennis, stepping in every shorter ball, serving very accurately.

He pushed me. Went down to a couple points to decide the first set in the tie-break. Obviously it was a huge relief for me to win the first set, and started off the second with a break. That gave me more confidence. I think I played a very, very good second set," Djokovic said after beating Tomic in Shanghai.

How Djokovic beat Tomic in Shanghai

Djokovic had the first break point of the match in the second game, but Tomic saved that break point opportunity to tie the first set to one game apiece. After not realizing his first break point, Djokovic earned the first break of the match in the sixth game to open a 4-2 lead.

But Djokovic's lead was short-lived as Tomic broke back immediately in the seventh game. As no more breaks were seen, the first set had to be resolved in a tie-break. In the tie-break, the two players were tied to four points apiece before Djokovic won the next two points to open a 6-4 lead and to earn two consecutive set points.

But Tomic refused to quit, saving those two consecutive set points to tie the tie-break to six points apiece. Unfortunately for Tomic, he lost the next two points as Djokovic scraped past Tomic in a tight opener. After losing the first set, Tomic suffered an early break as Djokovic opened a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Tomic saved a break point in the third game to avoid going down by a double-break and to cut the deficit to 2-1. That was all from Tomic as Djokovic won the next four games to complete a two-set win. Even though Tomic lost to Djokovic, he didn't embarrass himself.

Novak Djokovic Bernard Tomic Shanghai Masters