Djokovic loses semifinal match at Shanghai Masters, and, subsequently-his temper.
16.10.2016 08:39 Leonid_Poroshin
Novak Djokovic loses semifinal match at Shanghai Masters, and, subsequently-his temper.
For Novak Djokovic, there were no songs on stadium court at the Shanghai Masters on Saturday. Just a smashed racket, a torn shirt and a lot of frustration.
The top-ranked Serb struggled to control his errors -- and his emotions -- and was upset in the semifinals by Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4.
Djokovic, a three-time champion in Shanghai, was noticeably off his game for the second straight day after laboring to victory over German qualifier Mischa Zverev in the quarterfinals. Djokovic sprayed his groundstrokes and missed routine volleys, finishing with 29 unforced errors.
He was also a miserable 2-of-9 on break-point chances.
Against Zverev, Djokovic tried to stay calm by shrugging off errors and even humming a song to keep his anger from boiling over.
That attitude was nowhere to be seen on Saturday, however.
Djokovic smashed his racket into bits after losing the first set -- later grabbing a towel from a ball girl to sweep up the pieces -- and ripped his shirt open in anger during another point.
He argued repeatedly with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes over line calls and a time violation he received for changing his ripped shirt. He continued the exchange after the match and complained about it in his postmatch news conference.
"[Bernardes] was the star of the show," Djokovic said. "That's what he wanted to be today."
Djokovic has talked repeatedly this week about trying to lessen the pressure he feels on court and rediscover his inner joy for the game after a couple of all-conquering years that have left him mentally exhausted. He acknowledged after Saturday's defeat that it's very much a work in progress.
"This is one of those days," Djokovic said. "Things go in an opposite direction than you want them, but again, it's a lesson. Every day is a lesson."
Andy Murray had his own anger issues in the other semifinal against Gilles Simon, but the second-seeded Scot regained his composure and pulled out a 6-4, 6-3 victory to advance to his 10th final of the year.
Murray struggled himself against Simon, dropping serve three times in the first set. He also griped repeatedly to the umpire about missed calls.
Shanghai Masters final between Murray and Agut will take place on October 16, 4:30am (EST).
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