Novak Djokovic & Andy Murray to clash for Montreal Masters title
Andy Murray will replace Roger Federer as No. 2 in the world after defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday to reach the final of the Montreal Masters.
The Scot will Monday move into second on the ATP Tour’s ranking list behind longtime number one Novak Djokovic, his Sunday finals opponent on the Canadian hardcourts.
Murray will line up against Djokovic after the top seed defeated France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
“It’s nice to get back especially after everything I went through last year with the (hip) surgery and dropping out of the top 10,” Murray said. “A lot of questions were being asked about how my game was physically.
“It’s good to get back close to the top. I’ll keep working hard and try to get that one spot higher.”
Beating Djokovic in Sunday’s final would be a huge step towards that goal.
Djokovic, with three Canadian titles already to hand, advanced in 80 minutes to win his 10th match against Chardy without a loss in their career series.
Djokovic said he was annoyed during his match against Chardy by the smell of marijuana smoke coming from the stands.
“You can’t believe how bad it was. I think it stopped after a while. Whoever it was ... he was probably on the seventh sky somewhere,” said the Serb.
Murray, the 2009 and 2010 Canadian champion, preyed upon a tapped-out Nishikori who may have run out of puff after winning a latenight match 24 hours earlier.
“It definitely wasn’t a good day for my body,” said Nishikori who beat Rafael Nadal in the quarters. “I had a lot of matches before coming here, so it wasn’t easy to play today.
“But I’m happy with my good week.”
Murray reached the final in a little more than an hour as he ran down every shot and left his Japanese opponent searching answers.
Djokovic has dominated Murray over the years, winning 19 of 27 matches, including the last eight.
“Andy has been somebody that has been around for so many years. He knows how to play in the big stage and in the big matches.
“I know what I need to do, and that’s playing my best in order to win. So I need to get myself ready,” said Djokovic.
Djokovic will be bidding for a seventh title this season and a fifth at the Masters 1000 level after winning four of the first five in 2015.
He said he is going to have to raise his game another notch to beat Murray.
Andy Murray, of the United Kingdom, serves to Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during the semifinals at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, Saturday, Aug. 15.