Beijing Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Andy Murray, reaches final


Beijing Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Andy Murray, reaches final
Beijing Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Andy Murray, reaches final © Emmanuel Wong / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic reached his fifth Beijing final from as many trips to the Chinese capital in 2014. Novak met Andy Murray in the semi-final and scored a 6-3, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 37 minutes. It was their 22nd duel, and Djokovic celebrated for the 14th time, improving their hard-court score to 12-6 and winning the previous six encounters on the most common surface.

Djokovic clinched 20 points more than Murray and made the difference with the second serve. Novak saved four out of five break points, keeping the pressure on the other side. Andy struggled behind the second serve and lost serve three times from six chances offered to Novak.

The rivals hit a similar number of unforced and forced errors, and Djokovic dominated the winners department. The Serb counted 20 and reduced the Briton to below ten to control the rallies. Novak tamed his strokes nicely, maintaining the pace in the mid-range and most advanced exchanges.

Novak Djokovic took down Andy Murray in straight sets in Beijing 2014.

Djokovic held at 30 in the encounter's first game, and Murray locked the result at 1-1 with a backhand down the line winner and an ace. They closed games five and six with booming serves before Djokovic created a break chance at 4-3 after Murray's loose volley.

Andy saved it and survived the second after Novak's wayward backhand. Murray played against the third break chance and netted a backhand to drop serve and fall 5-3 behind. Djokovic served for the set in game nine, seizing the second set point after Murray's backhand mistake for 6-3 in 42 minutes.

Andy sprayed more backhand errors at the beginning of the second set, facing three break points. The Briton missed a forehand and experienced a break at love, pushing the Serb closer to the finish line. Novak held at love in game two with an ace down the T line before facing a break point at 2-1 following a 29-stroke exchange and a forehand error.

Djokovic saved it and denied the second, holding with two winners and opening a 3-1 gap. Novak forced Andy's mistake in the fifth game, creating a break chance. Murray erased it with a bold backhand attack, wrapping up the game with an ace and staying within one break deficit.

Novak struggled behind the initial shot for the second straight game, offering his rival two break chances after netting a forehand in game six. The Serb saved both with unreturned serves before facing the third after a forced error.

Murray drew Djokovic's mistake with a sharp return, breaking back to lock the result at 3-3. Andy grabbed the momentum and held at 15 in game seven following Novak's backhand error. Djokovic started all over and held at love with a service winner for 4-4.

The Briton placed a forehand wide in the ninth game, experiencing two break points. Novak clinched a 27-stroke exchange after Andy's backhand error for a crucial break and a 5-4 advantage. The defending champion served for the victory in game ten and earned three match points with three winners. Djokovic forced Murray's forehand error on the first to seal the deal and secure a place in the title clash.

Novak Djokovic Andy Murray