Dominant Andy Murray outmuscled Roger Federer in the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Saturday, taking advantage of a service meltdown by the Swiss great to set up a repeat of the US Open final against Novak Djokovic.
The US Open champion, who has never been beaten at the event, won 6-4, 6-4 in a display of controlled aggression, repeating his victory in the Olympic final that came after the searing pain of defeat to Federer at Wimbledon.
The pair swapped breaks at the start of the match but the first set hinged on an incredible fifth game when 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer was broken to love after the normally ice-cool Swiss double-faulted three times in a row.
“He didn’t serve that well for him tonight so I was able to be very aggressive on his second serve,” said British third seed Murray, adding it was always special to beat Federer, one of the all-time greats.
“He maybe slowed down his first serve a little bit, so I was able to take a few more chances on the first serve. Obviously that helped. But, yeah, I went for it like I did the last few times I played against him,” added Murray.
A disappointed Federer admitted he didn’t play well. “I played all right. I didn’t play great. But I did come here and reach the 300 weeks (as World No 1). I guess I have to be happy with that,” he said.
Djoko dominates Berdych
Earlier, in-form Djokovic accelerated his push for the year-end No 1 ranking, dismissing the challenge of fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4 in a one-sided match.
“I played tactically right,” the 25-year-old said. “I was putting a lot of returns into the court, making a lot of pressure on his serve. On the other hand, I was
serving well when I needed to,” Serbia’s Australian Open champion, who is yet to drop a set in Shanghai.