Djokovic and Mur­ray ad­vance to Shang­hai Mas­ters quar­ter­fi­nals

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Both feel­ing re­freshed and recharged, No­vak Djokovic and Andy Mur­ray each won in straight sets yes­ter­day to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals at the Shang­hai Mas­ters. The top-ranked Djokovic was broken once in a 6-4, 6-4 vic­tory over Vasek Pospisil, im­prov­ing his record at the tour­na­ment to 26-3. Mur­ray was even bet­ter: He won 21 of 22 points on his first serve and made only 10 er­rors in a 6-1, 6-3 win over 13thseeded Lu­cas Pouille. Both play­ers have said they feel en­er­gized this week af­ter tak­ing time off fol­low­ing the U.S. Open. Djokovic hasn’t played at all be­cause of an el­bow in­jury, pulling out of the China Open in Bei­jing last week. He said he used the time away to re­cover af­ter a men­tally ex­haust­ing sum­mer, find more bal­ance in his life, and re­dis­cover his pas­sion for the game. Djokovic said the rest and men­tal ad­just­ments are al­ready help­ing him on the court, too. De­spite drop­ping serve once, he said he played a nearly com­plete match against Pospisil. “I was very pleased with the way I have played from the first to last point,” Djokovic said. “I don’t think I have dropped my level at all.” Mur­ray has played more in re­cent weeks, lead­ing Bri­tain against Ar­gentina in the Davis Cup semi­fi­nals and then capturing the China Open ti­tle. But he also had some down­time. “My body felt so much bet­ter af­ter tak­ing like seven, eight days off of com­plete rest, which I hadn’t had for quite a long time,” Mur­ray said. “I’m re­ally, re­ally happy and glad now that I did that. It’s ob­vi­ously work­ing out well for me just now.” Mur­ray hasn’t dropped a set in his last eight matches, go­ing back to his vic­tory over Guido Pella in the Davis Cup last month. U.S. Open cham­pion Stan Wawrinka didn’t look nearly as fresh on Thurs­day. The third­seeded Swiss player had 43 un­forced er­rors in a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Gilles Simon. Sixth-seeded Gael Mon­fils was knocked out of the tour­na­ment, too. He fell to David Gof­fin 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. In other matches, Jack Sock notched another break­through in what’s been his best sea­son on tour, re­bound­ing to beat Mi­los Raonic 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8) and reach his first Mas­ters-level quar­ter­fi­nal. He saved two match points in the tiebreaker. It was also Sock’s first win over Raonic since 2013; he had lost eight straight to the Cana­dian since then, many end­ing in tiebreak­ers. “We’ve had a lot of close matches,” Sock said. “It feels great to fi­nally get one and win a tiebreak against him. It’s been a cou­ple of years.” The high­light of Sock’s year came at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where he won the gold medal in mixed dou­bles and bronze in men’s dou­bles — the only ten­nis player to win more than one. He also reached a ca­reer-high rank­ing of No. 22 and made the fourth round at the U.S. Open. He next plays Simon for a spot in the semi­fi­nals. Alexan­der and Mis­cha Zverev had a chance to put the broth­ers in the fi­nal eight, but only one pre­vailed. Mis­cha, ranked No. 110, beat Mar­cel Gra­nollers 6-7 (4), 6-4, 61 to be­come the first qual­i­fier to reach a Mas­ters quar­ter­fi­nal this year. Play­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously on the sta­dium court, younger brother Alexan­der lost to ninth­seeded Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-5. Mis­cha Zverev next plays Djokovic. Mur­ray, on the bot­tom half of the draw, will face Gof­fin.

Mur­ray had no dif­fi­culty beay­ing Lu­cas Pouille Photo: AP

Djokovic beat Vasek Pospisil in two sets Photo: AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.