Shanghai – semifinals

2nd semifinal:

(3)Andy Murray d. (1)Roger Federer            6-4, 6-4                            [1:38 h]

The second semifinal (played in night session) delivered much more suspense than the first one despite the scoreline was almost identical. Just like during their Olympic final a few months ago, Murray was hitting amazing returns, especially after Federer’s 2nd serve. The Scot has changed his tactics this year as a retriever (presumably in regard of Ivan Lendl‘s suggestions), he steps onto the court before 2nd serves and takes the ball as early as possible. This constant pressure caused Federer’s three consecutive double faults at 2-all (0/15) in the 1st set! The 2nd set began with a bizarre 18-minute game (8 deuces), in which Federer initially led 40/0. Murray started to hit extraordinary returns that gave him break points, six overall, before Federer’s complaining on slippery court (in the meantime a few raindrops fell). Nine minutes of play in the opening game preceded a 7-minute break when the roof was activated, but stopped because additional raindrops didn’t fall during the process. After the resumption Murray got his 7th break point, and one of the best rallies of the season occurred then – both players moved from a deep defence to offence, and Federer won it with a backhand dropshot landing on the line. Murray wasn’t concerned with wasted opportunities at all, what didn’t work for him in that game, kicked on at 2-all; Federer led 40/0 on serve again, but Murray managed to win five points in succession. As players entered the court after nine games of the set (Murray had to serve for the match), the rain came again, this time heavier, and the roof must have been activated for good – it prevented continuing of the semifinal about half an hour. Murray served out the last game to ’15’ without any troubles. He extends his perfect record in Shanghai to 12-0 joining Nadal and Djokovic as the third player to have beaten Federer ten times or more #

# Federer’s H2H records with at least 10 defeats: Nadal 10-18; Djokovic 16-12; Murray 8-10

1st semifinal:

(2)Novak Djokovic d. (4)Thomas Berdych       6-3, 6-4                                [1:25 h]

The Czech player now has opened a double-digit of defeats to the best three players in the world # The first blood came as early as in the 2nd game of the match. At 30-all on Berdych’s serve, Djokovic decided to rush the net, played very good approaching backhand volley to put away with another one from the forehand side. Thanks to that entertaining rally the Serb got the right mood and soon established a 5:1 lead breaking Berdych for the second time with two outstanding forehands. A momentary lapse of concentration, double fault on set point, and Berdych surprisingly had a break point to erase a double break disadvantage – Djokovic won strongly three points in a row. At 1:1 (30-all) in the 2nd set, Berdych thought he served an ace but Djokovic challenged and the ball was out. A moment later he got a break point with a lucky backhand slice which passed the Czech and clipped the line. The break point was quickly converted and Djokovic never looked back – in the 2nd set he lost just one point in five service games! His form this week has been excellent, especially regarding the serve (wasn’t forced to save any break point in the first five sets he played) – Berdych is the only man to win four games in a set against him. A funny thing, last week in Beijing Djokovic opened first four matches with a ‘6-1’ set, this week he repeated the pattern of repeatability capturing four straight openers ‘6-3’.

# Berdych’s H2H records against the best 3 players: Nadal 3-12; Federer 5-11; Djokovic 1-10
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