Sun, Oct 05, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Djokovic defeats Murray at China Open

AFP, BEIJING

A multiple-exposure picture shows Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during his men’s singles semi-final against Andy Murray of Great Britain at the China Open at the National Tennis Center in Beijing yesterday.

Photo: EPA

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic continued his brilliant 100 percent record at the China Open yesterday, overpowering Andy Murray in straight sets to make his way into the final.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova remained on course for a second consecutive women’s title in China as she defeated Samantha Stosur 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in her semi-final.

It was another ruthless serving display from Djokovic, the top seed in Beijing, who overcame a brief fightback from the 27-year-old Scot midway through the second set to claim a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Djokovic broke serve in the eighth game, taking advantage of some risky ground-strokes by Murray, to take the opening set.

The British sixth seed appeared to lose concentration early in the second set, dropping his serve in the first game and losing the next in a spell during which he failed to score a point.

However, Murray took the upper hand thereafter, forcing two break points from his opponent in the fourth game, before finally clinching a deserved break at his next attempt.

The world No. 11 was having his best moments of the match, taking points from Djokovic at the net during an attractive spell of tennis from both players.

Djokovic stepped up a gear when Murray pulled in front at 4-3, winning the next three games and allowing his opponent to take just one point.

“I felt like I could swing through the ball. I could dictate the play from the baseline better than I did in the previous games in the second set,” Djokovic said, explaining how he closed in on victory.

“Yeah, he played well. A couple of games we had some very, very long games. He broke back. He won that game. He was back in play, back in the match,” he said.

“But the comfortable hold at 4-3 probably allowed me to have that release in a way... because obviously I didn’t want him to break me and get into a third set where it can go either way,” he added.

The Serb is bidding for his fifth title in Beijing, a tournament that he has won every year since 2009 — apart from 2011, when he did not take part.

He will meet either Slovak qualifier Martin Klizan or Czech third seed Tomas Berdych in today’s final.

Murray was vying for his second consecutive title in China after he won in Shenzhen last weekend.

“I was doing a decent job of it myself, but I just made a few too many errors today,” he said.

“I played some good stuff, but the period the middle of the first set, and the beginning of the second set, I could have done better,” he said.

Murray is desperately chasing points as he pushes to qualify for next month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London, which features the top eight men’s players.

Only five berths are still available as the world’s top three — Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — have already confirmed their place for the London tournament.

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