In the final met two players who had played against each other in the group stage. On Tuesaday Novak Djokovic had defeated Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 0-6 7-5, five days later the Serb won much more easier, beating the Russian 6-1 7-5 to notch his first Masters Cup title (for the sixth time in the last 10 years in Masters Cup, two players met twice within one week, and for the third time in that period, one of them won both meetings, previously Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi twice in 2003). Djokovic won the first five games of the final and was two points away from taking the first set 6-0. In the second set Djokovic was close to gain a double break lead at 3:1. At 3:5 Davydenko saved double match point and in the next game broke opponent’s serve for the first time in the match after Djokovic’s double fault. Djokovic found himself in a very similar situation the day before playing against Simon and again didn’t panic in tense situation.
“It’s not easy, you know,” Djokovic said about that moment.
“There is a lot of pressure involved. It’s very important after not closing out the match to hold your nerves, and that’s what I did.”
In the 11th game Davydenko lost his serve netted a forehand on break-point. Djokovic didn’t waste second chance to close out the match and converted third match point with service winner. 21-year-old Djokovic obtained $625,000, Mercedes SUV and finished the season just two points behind No. 2 Roger Federer in the Champions Race.
“The secrets of the recovery, I think I’m going to keep more myself,” said Djokovic about his tight match against Simon and quick recovery. “But, yes, I was surprised in a way that I could move so well on the court today. I was a bit skeptical after a long match yesterday and a late finish.”
(2)Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. (4)Nikolay Davydenko 6-1 7-5
Gilles Simon won first encounter against Novak Djokovic, earlier this year in Marseille and started very well their semifinal in Shanghai. Simon broke Djokovic’s serve in the 3rd game and held his serve to the end of the set (could have won first set one game earlier but wasted 4 setpoints at 5:3). From the beginning of the second set, Djokovic was playing much more better, athough broke Simon’s serve just once – it was enough to level at one set a piece. In the third set Djokovic was 3:1 (40-0) up on Simon’s serve when felt pain in the left calf. Simon saved triple break point, won fifth game, and Djokovic took a medical time-out. After that Djokovic had been struggling with his baseline game but won reliably two service games and was serving for match at 5:4 – Simon ribroke after Djokovic’s double fault. In the next game at 30-30 Djokovic played good combination at the net with volley winner and it was decisive moment of the match. The Serb converted his second chance to close out the match which lasted 2 hours 51 minutes.
“Final is something special,” said Djokovic. “Every player has a motive more to do well and to win the title. I didn’t win a title for a long time already, since Rome, so I would like to end up my season in a good way.”
Murray’s game in the second semifinal, was infected by the marathon match against Roger Federer the day before. The Scot was even 4:3 (30-0) in the first set against Nikolay Davydenko but his physical tiredness was very visible. Davydenko won 7-5 6-2 in a very convincing style, reeled off five straight games, to advance for the first time to Masters Cup final in 4 appearances.
“Naturally I was going to be tired, I played a long match last night but he played a lot better than me in the circumstances. I think Davydenko will win the final” said Murray. “Djokovic had a long match today. Davydenko’s probably going to be fresher. I think that should make a big difference.”
Davydenko said: “Djokovic will have more confidence in the final”.
(2)Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. (8)Gilles Simon (FRA) 4-6 6-3 7-5
(4)Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) d. (3)Andy Murray (GBR) 7-5 6-2