Record-chasing Djokovic sets up Murray showdown

Reuters News
|
Posted: Nov 07, 2015 1:40 PM

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic survived a second-set blip to reach the Paris Masters final with a 6-3 3-6 6-0 win over Stan Wawrinka, his 21st victory in a row, on Saturday.

Djokovic, looking to become the first man to win six Masters title in a season, briefly lost focus as French Open champion Wawrinka of Switzerland ended the Serb's 29-set winning streak to claim the second set.

But the fourth seed paid dearly for it, losing the last six games as Djokovic, who hopes to claim an unprecedented third Bercy crown in a row, set up a showdown with Andy Murray after the Briton beat Spain's David Ferrer 6-4 6-3.

Djokovic was in a class of his own in the first set, finding the best angles while Wawrinka, who finished playing his quarter-final against Rafa Nadal around 1 a.m. local time last night, made too many unforced errors.

But the Swiss loosened up in the second set as Djokovic failed to contain his frustration and it seemed the contest would be thrown into an exciting decider.

Djokovic, however, regained his composure and there was no stopping him as he allowed Wawrinka only nine points in the final set, which ended when the Davis Cup champion sent a forehand long.

DREAM START

British second seed Murray lost his focus at times but eventually had too much guile for 2012 Bercy champion Ferrer in the first semi-final.

"I managed to shorten a lot of the points. There was some variety in there with the way the points finished, which was pleasing for me," Murray told a news conference.

"I dictated a lot of the points and I finished a lot of points up at the net and was able to shorten enough points to not make it too tiring."

Murray made a dream start, breaking to love in the first game, but the Spaniard leveled for 3-3 when two Murray unforced errors gave him a break in the sixth game.

In a see-saw opening set, Ferrer set up four more break points in the eighth game but Murray saved them all and stole the serve of the Spaniard who made a string of unforced errors.

The Scot finished a superb exchange at the net with a fine sliced lob to set up two set points and on the first one Ferrer netted a routine backhand.

In typically tenacious fashion Ferrer got straight back down to business and raced to a 3-1 lead in the second set.

But double grand slam champion Murray found his range again, producing some improbable angles as he won five games in a row, wrapping up the victory on his first match point when Ferrer netted an attempted drop shot.

Murray will guarantee finishing the year second in the ATP world rankings for the first time if he wins the title.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris and Martyn Herman)