Djokovic beats Berdych to reach Shanghai final

Second seed Novak Djokovic secured his place in the final of the Shanghai Masters with an impressive 6-3 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych.

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Djokovic beats Berdych to reach Shanghai final
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Novak Djokovic celebrates his win in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters (AFP)

Djokovic, who now boasts an ATP Tour-leading 69-11 match record for the season, secured a break in just the second game of the match to take control of the opening set, before taking it for the loss of just three games.

Berdych was always behind in the match, and he was unable to match the world number two in the second set as Djokovic closed it out efficiently to improve his head-to-head record over the Czech to 10-1 while securing his place in the final of the tournament for the first time.

Djokovic has now reached the final of every Masters 1000 tournament and Grand Slam and, remarkably, all but the Paris Masters within the last two years.

Djokovic, who won through in 85 minutes, will next take on two-time defending champion Andy Murray after he won his semi-final clash with world number one Roger Federer in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.

"Obviously it's a big challenge when you play a top 10 player," said Djokovic. "Tomas is in great form the past couple of months. He's always a difficult player to play against on any surface because he has a very powerful serve and great forehand.

"I played tactically right. I was putting a lot of returns into the court, putting a lot of pressure on his serve. On the other hand, I was serving well when I needed to."

Berdych had been looking to reach his fourth ATP Tour final of the year, but the 27-year-old was never able to recover after falling three games down in the opening set.

Djokovic dropped his serve at 5-1 up after having just broken for a second time, but he was undeterred as he closed out the first set and stamped his authority on the contest.

The second set quickly went the same way as Djokovic seized the initiative in the third game to break in clinical fashion as he was able to attack Berdych's serve all too easily.

Indeed, Berdych's first-serve percentage was just 56, compared to his opponent's 75, with the Serb winning 11 more points on his initial delivery.

It was a fairly uneventful second set as the 25-year-old from Belgrade was unwavering on serve, and Berdych could not muster a response as his opponent closed it out very efficiently.

Djokovic, who is on a nine-match winning streak, left the court to a huge ovation from the Shanghai crowd on the Stadium Court, and he will now take on his good friend Murray in the showpiece encounter.

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