Saturday, October 13, 2012

SHANGHAI 2012: Djokovic(2) v Murray(3) in Final

As predicted yesterday, Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych in the semifinals of the 2012 Shanghai Masters tournament to set up a reprise of the 2012 US Open final, Murray versus Djokovic, which was won by Murray.

Murray beat Federer 6-4 6-4 on a disastrous serving performance from the Swiss great (at one point he served three consecutive double faults in a row!) to improve his career head-to-head to 10-8. Djokovic has now only lost once to Berdych in 11 meetings, winning 6-3 6-4.

Djokovic and Murray were born a week apart and have met 5 times in 2012. Murray has won 3 of those 5 meetings, including the last two times they played (US Open final and London Olympics semifinal). Djokovic has a slim 8-7 lead on Murray all-time career head-to-head. Murray plays well in Shanghai and has won the title twice before here. This is an important match for the future of this rivalry, with Federer now well over 31 years old and Rafael Nadal injured and having not played a professional match for well over 3 months with an unclear return date, the Murray-Djokovic rivalry could dominate men's tennis in 2013 and beyond.

This could actually be a very good match, since Djokovic should be full of confidence since he has reached his 10th tour final of the year and won his 4th title of 2012 last week in Beijing. Murray knows he has been able to outlast Djokovic in recent matches, and winning this match will set him up for trying to claim the #1 ranking sometime in the next year.

MadProfessah's Prediction: Murray.

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