Shanghai Flashback: Novak Djokovic sails past Andy Murray

Novak Djokovic reached his third Shanghai Masters in 2015

by Jovica Ilic
Shanghai Flashback: Novak Djokovic sails past Andy Murray
© Lintao Zhang / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic was among the players to beat during his first six visits to the Shanghai Masters, reaching three semi-finals and three finals. After winning titles in 2012 and 2013, Novak earned another chance to lift the trophy at the penultimate Masters 1000 event in 2015.

Djokovic faced a two-time champion Andy Murray in the semi-final and scored a dominant 6-1, 6-3 triumph in 68 minutes. It was the 20th triumph for the Serb over the Briton in 29 clashes, dropping nine points on serve and keeping the pressure on the other side.

Murray landed in 46% of the first serve. It was a recipe for disaster, dropping almost 60% of the points behind the initial shot and getting broken five times from eight chances offered to Djokovic. The Briton hit under ten winners and sprayed around 30 unforced errors, playing poorly and failing to follow the Serb's 17-7 ratio.

Novak had the upper hand in the shortest and advanced exchanges, taming his strokes nicely and emerging at the top.

Novak Djokovic lost four games against Andy Murray in the 2015 Shanghai SF.

Andy saved two break points with winners in the encounter's first game, holding with a service winner to bypass an early setback.

Djokovic grabbed the second game and earned a break in the next one when Murray hit a double fault. The Serb confirmed the lead with a service winner, opening a 3-1 lead after 15 minutes for a strong start. With nothing working his way, Andy sprayed a forehand error in the fifth game to fall 4-1 behind.

Novak served well and increased the advantage with another hold at love, forcing his opponent to serve to stay in the opener. Murray sent a backhand long in game seven to suffer a break and propel Djokovic over the top in a swift 25 minutes.

Starting all over, Andy forced Novak's error to grab a break in the second set's first game, already doing better than in the entire opener. However, he lost the advantage a few minutes later following the Serb's incredible volley winner.

Novak held at love to open a 2-1 gap, taking eight of the first ten games and delivering another break when Andy hit a double fault in the next one. Murray forced an error from his coeval in game seven to pull one break back and reduce the deficit, hoping for more chances on the return.

Instead, Djokovic delivered a hold at 15 to move 5-2 up, forcing Murray to serve to stay in the encounter. Andy fended off a match point in the eighth game, bringing it home and reducing the deficit. Novak fired four winners at 5-3 to seal the deal, moving over the top with a cracking backhand down the line winner and securing a place in his third Shanghai Masters final.

Novak Djokovic Andy Murray Shanghai Masters