(October 4, 2014) No. 1 Novak Djokovic improved his perfect record to 23-0 in Beijing on Saturday when he defeated Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4 to reach his fifth China Open final.
Despite the straight set score, Djokovic felt as though he worked a lot harder.
“It was a two‑set victory today, but still it felt like I had to work hard to win the points,” the Serbian said. “There was a lot of rally exchanges. He had a lot of chances to come back. He was 4‑3 up. Just in important moments I managed to play the best tennis.”
“I just wasn’t myself on the court,” Djokokic commented about his lackluster performances since winning Wimbledon. “I wasn’t really prepared emotionally to go back and compete again after Wimbledon and a very exhausting summer, everything that happened in my professional and private life.
“I’m glad that I’m back in the form that I would like to be in, especially in these courts where I still haven’t lost ever since I played this tournament.”
Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych for the China Open title on Sunday. Berdych defeated Martin Klizan, who upset Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-1.
“It’s a final and it’s against Novak,” Berdych said. “It’s really special day for me. Every Sunday that we have to go on court and play, it means a lot because it’s a final. Playing with No. 1 player in the world is always a bit special.
“But Novak is playing in incredible form, back again. Really, he’s having a great record playing here in China Open. There is a new challenge, a new day, a new opportunity for me. I’m going to try to go there, try to take my chance and, again, try to play my tennis. Let’s see what I can do with that.”
On the ladies side, it will be a rematch of the 2011 Wimbledon title, with the added bonus for the winner to move to No. 2 in the world with Petra Kvitova facing Maria Sharapova on Sunday.
Kvitova was pushed by Samantha Stosur 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, while Sharapova dominated Ana Ivanovic 6-0, 6-4.
Kvitova is going for her second title in China in as many weeks. She captured the inaugural Wuhan Open last week.
He chance to move up to No. 2 is not that important to the Czech.
“I was No. 2 already, so I’m not really excited about,” she said. “But, no, I’m kidding.”
“I’m not really focusing on the number. I mean, it’s just number before my name. More important for me are results on the big tournaments and on the Grand Slams, as well.
“So tomorrow I will play for the title, not for be No. 2.”