Novak Djokovic was at his best on Saturday, cruising into the Shanghai Rolex Masters final with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 victory over Andy Murray.
Nole extended his winning streak to 15 straight matches and 20 consecutive sets won.
The World No. 1 applied significant pressure on Murray from the start. The Scot staved off a pair of break points in the opening game of the match, but Djokovic would not be denied two games later, breaking for 2-1 and never looking back. In a dominant display of baseline aggression, he would reel off 24 of the next 27 points to capture the first set in a mere 25 minutes. Murray was victimised by 17 unforced errors in the opener, but looked poised to make it a competitive affair after securing an immediate break to begin the second set.
Murray’s lead would be short lived, however, as a double fault in the next game would hand the break back and Djokovic would surge to the finish line. The Serb laced a backhand down the line to punctuate the 68-minute win. He fired five aces and converted on five of eight break chances in total.
Nole about his match vs Andy: “It’s the best match of the tournament at the right time against a player who was in form and one of my biggest rivals, a player I lost to a couple months ago in a Montréal final. Obviously, there was a lot at stake. Whenever we play against each other, it’s always exciting. It’s always a huge challenge. But I was ready. I came in from the very first point with the right intensity, played great, on a very high level. I had a very high first serve percentage throughout the entire match. He had a very low one. I think that also made a difference in terms of the scoreline.
On the other hand, when you keep on winning like this, you don’t have time to reflect on the victories, the way you have played. Of course, I try to enjoy it for the little time that I have. But knowing that I have a finals tomorrow, I am very pleased and satisfied with how I played, but I have to focus already on the next one.
The kind of mindset that I have is to be respectful in the defeat and humble in the victory, as well, which helps me stay grounded and stay committed always for the next one. After Grand Slams, obviously, the celebrations are a bit different. But there is never too much time, if you know what I mean, especially now with a family, always going back home, kind of shifting attention to your private life.
Nole about the final vs Tsonga: “I think because I’ve played him so many times I understand what kind of game plan I need to execute on the court. But it’s easier said than done obviously. When you’re playing on a big stage, a big tournament, semifinals or finals of the event, against a quality player like him, you are obviously extra determined and focused. Everything from the very beginning of preparations for the match, everything that you do the day before, the day on the match is devoted to the preparation for the best possible performance.
It worked tonight. I don’t know if it’s going to work every time or not. I did win against him for the last seven eight times that we played against each other, I lost once. It’s a good record. Yet again, we’ve played so many close matches that tonight’s match went completely my side, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to stay that way.
About the Chinese characters he writes on camera: “I don’t know the exact number. It’s not too many. It maybe seems because I’m coming up with a new one each day that it’s plenty. It’s not many, but it’s plenty for me.
I’ve done it well because I had help. I don’t know if you’ve seen, but I was holding a paper next to the camera. Cheating a little bit. I talk with the fans each day. Whatever they suggest, as long as it’s a nice word. I’ll support that and I’ll do it.
Nole also talked about why he didnt show the face of his son Stefan yet: “It’s more just the fact that we think it doesn’t make sense for us to really expose him when he’s going to be exposed anyway once you starts running around, coming to the tennis courts. Until then, he’s just a baby that crawls around. I don’t think there is any reason for us to really show the face. I think it’s nicer to protect him.”