World number two Novak Djokovic saved five match points to edge two-time defending champion Andy Murray 5-7 7-6(13-11) 6-3 in a exciting and thrilling 3 hour and 21 minute contest Sunday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Novak Djokovic has been a tear on the ATP World Tour since losing to Murray last month in their epic five set final at the US Open. Djokovic has won ten matches in a row, winning back to back titles at the China Open, defeating Tsonga in the final, and now in Shanghai. Djokovic has an impressive 70 match wins on the ATP World Tour as he also compiled titles at the Australian Open, Sony Ericsson Open, and at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
Djokovic has won his seventh different ATP Masters 1000 event title and his 13th overall. He reached six Masters 1000 finals this season, adding to his victories in Shanghai, Toronto, and Miami to go with his runner up appearances at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where he lost to Nadal in both times, and Cincinnati, losing to Federer.
Djokovic’s results this season has left him in a battle with Roger Federer for the year end world number one ranking in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.
In the post match press conference, Djokovic commented on the world number one ranking, “I’m trying to focus now on the end of the season. I need to try to stay consistent with my results and eventually get a shot at the No. 1 of the world. It’s my biggest objective in this moment. It’s something I’m aiming for.”
The match was an extremely competitive between Murray and Djokovic as most of their matches have been lately. There were seven breaks of serve in the first set before Murray finally gained the upper hand as he broke for a 6-5 lead before serving out the opening set. Murray looked to be in control of the match after he broke Djokovic for a 4-3 lead and was serving for the match at 5-4, 30/0.
Djokovic began his fight back like he has done so many times when facing match points. Djokovic hit an amazing shot between his legs to get back in the game, but Murray still was serving for the match at 40/30. Djokovic rallied in that game to break the Scot and forced a second set tie break.
The second set tie-breaker was filled with more amazing shots. Murray squandered four more match points at 6-4, 8-7, and 10-9 before Djokovic converted his fourth set point to set the match to a deciding set. Murray was rattled by his performance in the second set and this allowed Djokovic to advantage in the third set.
Djokovic broke Murray in the seventh game of the third set to take a 4-3. Murray would save two match points at 3-5, but Djokovic would covert his third match point to win this memorable match. He now leads 9-7 in his head to head matchup with Murray.
The 25-year old Murray was bidding to win his third Shanghai title in a row as he saw his perfect record at the event come to an end (12-1). Murray defeated world number one Roger Federer in the semifinals and was attempting to beat the ATP World Tour’s Top 2 players in the same event for the second time this year. Murray previously accomplished the feat the London 2012 Olympics en route to the gold medal.