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Djokovic Surges Into Shanghai Final

Shanghai, China

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic will contest the Shanghai Rolex Masters final for the first time.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic surged into the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Saturday as he recorded his 10th win in 11 meetings with Tomas Berdych, beating the fourth-seeded Czech 6-3, 6-4. Berdych’s only victory against Djokovic came two years ago in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Djokovic will face World No. 3 Andy Murray in Sunday’s final, the player he lost to in last month's US Open final.

"I don't like the word 'revenge.' I never like revenge," said Djokovic. "I just play tennis and I try to win every match that I play. He's a bit more aggressive [since losing the Wimbledon final]. It's obvious on the court. He goes more for his forehand, which wasn't his strength in the past. Now this year he's improved that stroke and he's more confident on the court, has more self belief. He's got the results. He won a Grand Slam."

The 25-year-old Djokovic extended his winning streak to nine matches, having won the China Open title (d. Tsonga) last week in Beijing. He let slip a 5-1 lead against Berdych in the first set as the Czech threatened to get back on level terms, but closed out the first set at the second time of asking. An early break in the second set then secured victory for Djokovic in 85 minutes.

"Obviously it's a big challenge when you play a Top 10 player," said Djokovic. "Tomas is in great form the past couple of months. He's always a difficult player to play against on any surface because he has a very powerful serve and great forehand. I played tactically right. I was putting a lot of returns into the court, putting a lot of pressure on his serve. On the other hand, I was serving well when I needed to."

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The Serb, who is through to the Shanghai final for the first time after semi-final exits in 2009 (l. to Davydenko) and 2010 (l. to Federer), is chasing his 13th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title of the season. He added to his haul earlier in the year with victory at the Sony Open Tennis (d. Murray) in Miami and the Rogers Cup (d. Gasquet) in Toronto.

The 27-year-old Berdych has boosted his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals this week, reaching his seventh tour-level semi-final of the year. The Czech has a 53-19 record in 2012 and will continue his bid to clinch one of the four remaining berths at the year-end championships at the If Stockholm Open next week.

"He's a great player," said Berdych. "I think just the game that he plays; it's not the one that suits my game that much. I like to play quite aggressive. But this doesn't hurt him that much. So it's much more difficult for me to play him. He's the second player in the world, chasing for the first place. It's really tough to find the way and have a positive record with him."

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