Djokovic Survives Scare To Reach Shanghai Semi-Finals

Novak Djokovic (photo: Shanghai Rolex Masters)

SHANGHAI, October 14, 2016

The quarterfinals at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Friday were led by the top two players in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. They have combined to win five of the previous seven tournament titles with the Scot winning in 2010-11 and Djokovic in 2012-13 as well as in 2015.

The world number one was struggling against German qualifier Mischa Zverev but eventually emerged victorious with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 win in two hours and 20 minutes. Djokovic produced 37 unforced errors as well as six double faults. The world number 110 was only two points away from victory in the second set.

“I had to dig myself out of a hole,” said Djokovic. “He was the better player for most of the first part of the match. He was up a set and a break, then a game away from winning. Tactically played well. He slowed down the pace. I knew his game, but I haven’t played him for many, many years… Credit to him, definitely for playing well. He was fighting, he was focused. He gave his best, and he was few points from winning. It was a very close one.”

On Thursday, Djokovic mentioned he had only made arrangements with his coach Boris Becker for the rest of the season.

“We are still working (together), yeah… for now the plan is the rest of the season, what’s left, indoor tournaments,” he said. Asked what would happen next year, Djokovic said: “We still haven’t talked about it.”

Becker joined Djokovic’s coaching team at the beginning of 2014, helping him to capture six Grand Slam titles and putting together one of the all-time great seasons last year.

Djokovic will next face Roberto Bautista-Agut. The 15th seed from Spain withstood nine aces to defeat the tournament’s number nine Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-3, 6-4 in 72 minutes.

Andy Murray celebrated his fifth win over Belgian David Goffin in the pair’s sixth tour meeting. The world number two saved all of the five break points he faced, converting four of his own to prevail in one hour and 35 minutes. Murray will next take on Gilles Simon. The 31-year-old Frenchman fought past US-American Jack Sock, rallying 4-6, 6-4 7-6 in two hours and 40 minutes.

Jack Sock hits tweener lob winner: