Novak Djokovic Defeats Andy Murray to Win Shanghai Masters 2012 Tournament

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2012

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 14:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts to a lost point while playing Andy Murray of Great Britain during the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center on October 14, 2012 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Andy Murray came into Sunday the two-time defending Shanghai Masters champion, but this year, Novak Djokovic was simply too much to overcome in a truly epic match.

Djokovic took the match 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, but he did it the hard way. After losing the first set, Djokovic found himself down 5-3 and facing a match point at 5-4. But as is his style, Djokovic wouldn't go down without a fight. 

Djokovic and Murray went to battle after Djokovic pulled even at 5-5, Djokovic looking to extend the match and seize momentum, Murray looking to put the pesky Serbian away. However, it was Nole who would win the battle, finally taking the second set in a 13-11 tiebreaker to remember.

You couldn't blame Murray if he was a bit down on himself after that, having blown a commanding lead and a total of five match points. Of course he didn't give up, holding his first three serves in the final set. But Djokovic wasn't giving an inch either, and finally got the break he needed in the seventh game, taking a 4-3 lead.

After holding serve to go up 5-3, Djokovic was finally able to put Murray away, breaking him for a second time in the final set and finishing his improbable comeback to win the title.

Folks, you saw the future in this match, and it sure looks like a bright one. While we've seen Roger Federer lose his ironclad grip over the men's tennis game in the past few years and have seen a more vulnerable (albeit still excellent) Rafael Nadal than in the past, Djokovic and Murray have entered the fray in a big way.

2011 was the year of Djokovic, as the Serbian star took home three Grand Slam titles. However, in 2012, we've seen Murray firmly place his name amongst the elites with a gold medal at the London Games and a U.S. Open title.

Speaking of the U.S. Open, perhaps Sunday's win was a nice bit of revenge for Djokovic against Murray, who beat him in the final in New York and took him down in the Olympics semifinals. 

One thing is for certain—these two will offer plenty of epic battles like the one we saw at the Shanghai Masters in the future. The top of men's tennis is as competitive as we've ever seen, and the era of Djokovic and Murray looks like it has begun.


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