Murray beats Isner to reach Shanghai Masters quarterfinals
SHANGHAI (AP) Novak Djokovic reached the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
The top-seeded Serbian player earned his 14th straight victory dating back to the U.S. Open and has now won 16 sets in a row. He's been winning so convincingly since the start of the China Open last week, he hasn't surrendered more than five games in a single match.
''You can't just expect to win all the time very comfortably, but I've been doing so for last week and a half,'' he said. ''Obviously it's giving me more confidence.''
On a day when 14 of the world's top 17 players were playing, Andy Murray saved all seven break points he faced and held on to beat big-serving John Isner 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4 and Rafael Nadal defeated Canada's Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, meanwhile, was upset by South Africa's Kevin Anderson 7-6 (10), 7-6 (3).
Lopez, who lost to Djokovic in the quarterfinals of last month's U.S. Open, tried to disrupt the Serbian star's rhythm by serving and volleying and using a variety of drop shots, sliced backhands and sharp angles.
Djokovic, however, played a superb defensive game and continually scrambled after Lopez's shots for winners. During one point in the second set, Lopez chased down a volley and hit an angled shot around the post into the open court only to watch Djokovic stab at the ball and float a lob over his head that dropped on the line.
''He's already the toughest player to play right now in the game,'' Lopez said. ''No doubt about that. It's something very obvious.''
Murray had won all four of his previous encounters with Isner, but they all went to three sets - and this one was no different.
Isner had multiple break chances in the match, including two when Murray was serving for the second set at 5-4. The Scot saved the first break point with a drop shot Isner couldn't reach and the second with a second-serve ace up the middle that prompted the American to rip off his hat in anger and throw it to the ground.
It was Isner's ninth straight loss to a top-10 opponent.
''It's disappointing because I did have some chances and I didn't take them,'' Isner said. ''If I want to take that next step, I've got to do that, and I didn't. And it's happened a lot.''
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4 win over Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who ousted Roger Federer in the second round.