By Niall Clarke
- Djokovic defeats Murray 6-1, 6-3; Tsonga defeats Nadal 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 in the semi finals
- The world number one defeats the Frenchman 6-2, 6-4
- Djokovic’s ninth title of the season
Shanghai, China- Novak Djokovic further cemented his dominance over the tour with back to back dominant victories over Andy Murray and Jo Wilfried Tsonga to win the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
The world number one dominated Murray in an easy 6-1, 6-3 victory before going on to beat Tsonga in the final 6-2, 6-4 to claim his ninth title of the season.
The Serb only hit five unforced errors compared to Murray’s 30 in the semi-final. The top seed was flawless whilst the Brit was all over the place. The 6-1 first set went by in a 25 minute flash with Djokovic breaking three times.
Murray looked like he might be on the comeback trail when he broke in the first game of the second set, but an outstanding defence to offence point by Djokovic was finished at net to break back. The ten time grand slam champion broke again in a four game haul before serving out the match comfortably, finishing it with a backhand down the line winner.
Tsonga would put in a less dominant but an equally satisfying display to defeat Rafael Nadal in the other semi-final.
The Spaniard and the Frenchman were first on the stadium court and it was Tsonga who got the better of the early exchanges. A single break was enough to claim the first set 6-4.
The second went entirely in the opposite direction. A lapse by the 16th seed coupled with Nadal’s ability to up his game meant a 6-0 second set in favour of the 14 time grand slam champion.
Tsonga regained his composure in a tight third set, but the 30 year old claimed the crucial break at 5-5 before serving out his place in the final.
Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite heading into the final, but their last meeting went the way of Tsonga in the Frenchman’s successful Toronto campaign last year.
All doubts were diminished early as the world number one took the opening three games with a double break. Djokovic was imperious as ever but Tsonga struggled to land his favourite forehand. The Frenchman grabbed a break back, but ultimately the return game of the Serb would be too strong in a 6-2 first set.
A hold at 5-1 gave the 16th seed a small boost of confidence heading into the second, and Tsonga was able to hold serve with much more efficiency.
However, Djokovic’s relentless pressure would soon be telling. At 4-4, the world number one earned break point opportunities, and a costly double fault from Tsonga gave Djokovic the chance to serve.
The world number one served it out with brutal efficiency to claim the Shanghai Rolex Masters title, his third at this event.
Djokovic is simply the best and looks unstoppable at the moment. He claimed his fifth Masters title to add to his three Grand Slams and the Beijing title from last week. The 28 year old has not lost a match since Cincinnati and has not dropped a set since the US Open.
The world number one continues to add to his growing legacy. Incredibly he has not dropped a single ranking point in over a year, meaning he has equalled or bettered his results from last year. He is also the first man to break 16,000 ranking points.
His 25th Masters Series title puts him two short of Nadal’s record of 27. Has Djokovic surpassed his incredible 2011 season?
The ATP tour continues next week in Stockholm, Vienna and Moscow.
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