Andy Murray makes the most of Roger Federer's lapses to set up final against Novak Djokovic
Swiss great struggles with his service game and Scot pounces to set up final against Djokovic
Agence France-Presse in Shanghai
Andy Murray heaped the misery on Roger Federer last night, taking advantage of an astonishing service meltdown by the Swiss great to set up a repeat of the US Open final against Novak Djokovic.
The US Open champion, who has never been beaten at this tournament, won 6-4, 6-4, repeating his victory in the Olympic final that came after the searing pain of defeat by Federer just weeks earlier in the Wimbledon final.
The pair swapped breaks at the start of the match but the first set hinged on an incredible fifth game when 17-time grand slam champion Federer was broken to love after the normally ice-cool Swiss double-faulted three times in a row.
"He didn't serve that well for him tonight so I was able to be very aggressive on his second serve," said Murray, adding it was always special to beat Federer, rated as one of the all-time greats.
"He maybe slowed down his first serve a little bit so I was able to take a few more chances on the first serve. Obviously that helped. But, yeah, I went for it like I did the last few times I played him."
Murray faced an agonising wait of more than half an hour to serve for the match as the magnolia-shaped roof at the Qi Zhong Stadium was closed after it started raining and an army of people descended on the court to dry the playing surface.
Earlier, in-form Djokovic accelerated his push for the year-end number-one ranking, dismissing the challenge of fourth seed Tomas Berdych in a one-sided match.
The Serbian second seed came into the clash with an impressive 9-1 lead against the Czech player in head-to-head match-ups and immediately took charge, dominating the contest to win 6-3, 6-4.
"I played tactically right," the 25-year-old Djokovic said.