Tennis: British number one Andy Murray wasted five championship points as Novak Djokovic gained revenge for his US Open final defeat with a thrilling triumph at the Shanghai Masters today.
The Serbian somehow stayed alive in the second set, breaking when Murray was serving for the match and then winning a remarkable tie-break 13-11.
And the world number two broke the Scot’s resolve in the decider to claim a 5-7 7-6 (13/11) 6-3 victory in three hours 21 minutes.
The result handed Djokovic his fifth title of the year, while it was two-time defending champion Murray’s first defeat in Shanghai in 13 matches.
The Scot said: “I’ve lost tougher matches than that before and I’m sure I will recover. But it was a top-quality match. Both of us played some unbelievable tennis at times.
“It was literally the difference of one, two centimetres [between] winning the match and losing it. You have to put things into perspective. It was obviously a bit frustrating but it was so close and could have been a different outcome.”
Murray, who came into the final in fine form after beating world number one Roger Federer in yesterday's semi-final, added: “The third set, he played better than me. When I had my chances he served very well and hit the lines when he needed to.
“Most of our games have been tight, close matches but I feel like my game is there.”
On court, despite going a break down early on, the Scot recovered well to claim the first set.
A frustrated Djokovic smashed his racket on the ground in response and a straight-sets victory looked on the cards as Murray went on to serve for the the match at 5-4 in the second.
But from 0-30 down and having saved a championship point, the Serbian upped his game and broke back before forcing the tie-break which would change the course of the match.
Murray fell 3-1 behind in the breaker before getting back on terms and carving out two more match points at 6-4.
But Djokovic saved both and then two more at 8-7 and 10-9 before finally levelling the match on his fourth set point.
The momentum was now firmly with the five-time Grand Slam winner and be broke in the decider for a 4-3 lead.
Serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Murray saved two championship points, but could not do so a third time as Djokovic took the win.
“It was a thrilling match [and] very long,” said the Serb.
“Whenever I play Andy, I know it’s going to be a gruelling fight with a lot of long rallies. It could have gone either way.
“I could have easily been a runner-up today but I’m very proud of my fight.”