In the first six visits to Shanghai, Novak Djokovic was the guy to beat, making it to three semifinals and three championship matches. In 2015, the Serb was far superior to all of his competitors, taking home three Major trophies and dropping six out of 88 games.
To gain momentum before Shanghai, Djokovic dominated the field in Beijing, losing just 18 games in 10 sets and defeating Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2 in the championship match. After losing to Roger Federer in the semi-final a year prior, Novak recovered to defeat Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 in 68 minutes for his third Shanghai final.
With nine points on serve lost and the pressure still on the opposing team, it was the Serb’s 20th victory over the Brit in 29 matches. Murray connected on 46% of his opening serves. After losing nearly 60% of the points after the opening shot and breaking Djokovic five times out of eight occasions, it was a formula for disaster.
In the Shanghai 2015 semifinal matchup with Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic fell behind 4-1.
The Briton struggled to replicate Novak’s 17-7 ratio, hitting fewer than 10 winners and making a lot of unforced errors. As a result, he lost ground in the shorter and more difficult rallies.
Andy avoided an early defeat in the first game of the match by holding with a service winner after he had saved two break points with winners. When Murray committed a double fault at 1-1, Djokovic won the second game to put his name on the scoreboard and got a break at love.
After 15 minutes, the Serb’s excellent start saw him open a 3-1 lead and then confirm it with a service winner. In the sixth game, Andy committed a forehand blunder and fell behind 4-1 before Novak extended his lead with a second hold at love.
Murray was serving to stay in the set at 1-5 when he fired a backhand long, breaking the serve and handing the victory to Djokovic in a matter of 25 minutes. In the opening game of the second set, Andy made Novak commit a mistake by starting over and forcing it.
But after the Serb’s amazing volley winner a few minutes later, he lost the advantage. When Andy committed a double fault, Novak held at love to take a 2-1 lead and won the third straight game. In game seven, Murray forced an error from a former classmate and close friend in an effort to cut the gap, expecting for more opportunities upon his return.
Instead, Djokovic made a hold at game point 15 to take a 5-2 lead, compelling Murray to serve to remain in the match. To finish the eighth game and cut the lead, Andy resisted a match point. At 5-3, Novak hit four winners to clinch the match and go on top with a powerful backhand down the line winner.