Second seed Novak Djokovic cruised into the final of the Shanghai Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic yesterday.
The Serbian converted his second break point to lead 5-1 in the first set before Berdych put up some fight to slow his progress.
Djokovic was equally impressive in the second set, capitalizing on an early break to lead 4-2 before eventually serving out to sail into his first Shanghai final.
“Obviously it’s a big challenge when you play a Top 10 player,” said Djokovic, who lost back-to-back Shanghai semi-finals in 2009 and 2010.
“Tomas is in great form the past couple of months. He’s always a difficult player to play against on any surface because he has a very powerful serve and great forehand,” he said.
“I played tactically right. I was putting a lot of returns into the court, putting a lot of pressure on his serve. On the other hand, I was serving well when I needed to,” the Serb said.
In yesterday’s second semi-final Andy Murray beat Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4.
Japan women’s open
AP and reuters, Tokyo and OSAKA, Japan
Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan stunned top-seeded Sam Stosur of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) yesterday to advance to the final of the Japan Open.
The 134th-ranked Chang broke Stosur twice in the opening set and won 73 percent of the points on her first serve to reach the first WTA tour final of her career.
The 21-year-old Chang will face Britain’s Heather Watson in today’s final after she defeated local favorite Misaki Doi of Japan 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 in their semi-final.
Chang has beaten three seeded players on the way to the final.
Watson prevailed after breaking Doi four times in the second set to make up for losing her own serve three times. The 20-year-old Watson will also be appearing in her first career WTA final.
Like Watson, Chang’s best results before this week were three quarter-finals — two in 2010 and Birmingham earlier this year.
Chang is bidding to become the third player from Taiwan to win a WTA title, following Wang Shi-Ting, who won six during the 1990s, and Hsieh Su-wei, who won her first two WTA titles this year.
AP, LINZ, Austria
Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium defeated two-time former champion Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-0 on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Generali Ladies.
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka, fifth-seeded Julia Goerges and Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania also advanced to the semi-finals.
Azarenka reached her 10th semi-final of the season by defeating Petra Martic of Croatia 6-2, 6-2.
Azarenka will next play Begu, who defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
Goerges beat Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-1, 6-4.