Serbian World No.1 Novak Djokovic lost his first set since the US Open final but recovered to beat fourth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 to advance to a showdown in the Paris Masters final against Scotland’s Andy Murray.
Wawrinka showed again that he can trouble Djokovic when playing at his peak, although the outcome of the day’s second semi-final made it clear how difficult it is to maintain that level for an entire match here on Saturday, reports Efe.
Djokovic easily won the first set and broke serve in the opening game of the second, but from 0-2 down Wawrinka lifted his game to dizzying heights to reel off five straight games and frustrate the Serb into breaking one of his racquets.
But in the third set the match quickly slipped away from Wawrinka, who had played into the early hours of Saturday in defeating Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of this indoor hard-court event and had little recovery time before the semi-finals.
With the win, Djokovic advanced to his 14th consecutive tournament final, a feat unmatched by any other male player since reliable statistics began to be kept.
He will square off on Sunday against the second-seeded Murray, who cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 semi-final victory over Spain’s David Ferrer.
The Serbian has had one of the greatest years in tennis history, winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as five Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour Masters 1000 titles.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion has failed to reach the final of only one tournament this season – an Australian Open tune-up event in January in Dubai, where he fell to big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-finals.
Wawrinka handed Djokovic his only loss in a Grand Slam event in 2015 when he defeated him in the final of Roland Garros, the only major tournament that has eluded the Serb in his illustrious career.
On Sunday, Djokovic also will be seeking to become the first player to win six Masters 1000 titles in a single season.