Top seed Novak Djokovic kept his winning streak at the China Open intact by seeing off British number one Andy Murray in a blockbuster semi-final on Friday night.
The Serb grabbed 16 points on Murray’s return- twice more than the 6th seed managed on his own serves- and saved four break points out of five to seal a 6-3 6-4 win.
The win extended his record in Beijing to 23-0 and also the world No. 1’s record over the Scot to 3-0 this year, including quarter-finals successes at the US Open and the Miami Masters. Djokovic has not lost at the ATP Masters tournament since his debut in 2009.
“I’m glad that I’m back in the form that I would like to be in, especially in these courts where I still haven’t lost ever since I played this tournament,” said Djokovic. “Hopefully I can finish the year in style, similar as I finished last year.”
The 2014 Wimbledon champion, who is bidding for his fifth China Open title, will face Czech’s Thomas Berdych in the final on Sunday, after the world number 6 beat Slovakian Martin Klizan in the other semi-final.
The Belgrade-born tennis star lifted the trophy in 2009 (defeated Cilic), 2010 (defeated Ferrer), 2012 (defeated Tsonga) and 2013 (defeated Nadal).
Murray will continue his bid for one of the eight spots up for grab in the ATP World Tour Finals at the Shanghai Open next week. The Dumblane native’s run to the semi-finals in Beijing coupled with his triumph in Shenzhen last week helped him rice to ninth in the race to London.
Third seed Berdych won 87 per cent of points on his first serve and saved his solitary break point opportunity in the first set to improve his dominance over the 56th-ranked Bratislava native to 2-0.
The 29-year-old, who won the ATP World Tour 500 in Rotterdam earlier in February, won his first ever meeting with Klizan in August; a five-setter in the second round of the US Open.