Djokovic, Murray clash for Montreal title

Andy Murray will replace Roger Federer as number two in the world after defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-0 on Saturday to reach the final of the Montreal Masters.

The Scot will Monday move into second on the ATP ranking list behind longtime number one Novak Djokovic, his Sunday finals opponent on the Canadian hardcourts.

Murray will line up against Djokovic after the top seed defeated France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-4 in the other semi-final.

Djokovic said that he was annoyed briefly during his match by the smell of marijuana smoke from the stands.

“I think it stopped after a while. Whoever it was … he was probably on the seventh sky somewhere.

“I felt I was playing better as I was inhaling,” he joked.

The Serb, with three Canadian titles already to hand, advanced in 80 minutes to win his 10th match against Chardy without a loss in the series.

Murray, the 2009 and 2010 Canadian champion, preyed upon a tired Nishikori who may have run out of puff after winning a late-night match 24 hours earlier.

Murray reached the final in little more than an hour as he ran down every shot and left his opponent searching for answers after winning the Washington title on hardcourt last weekend.

Djokovic owns Murray 19-8 in the head-to-head, winning their last eight matches.

And the world No.1 is prepared for a battle.

“Andy, who is all around player, very complete, has been somebody that has been around for so many years. He knows how to play in the big stage, in the big matches,” Djokovic said.

“I know what I need to do, and that’s playing my best in order to win. So I need to get myself ready.”

Djokovic will be bidding for a seventh title this season and a fifth at the Masters 1000 level after winning four of the first five in 2015.

He said he is going to have to raise his game another notch to beat Murray.

“I played better than I did yesterday, but still I need to get at least a level or two higher tomorrow in order to win the title.

“But I also have the experience of playing in finals of the biggest events. I’ve played Murray many, many times before on this particular surface.

“I’m going to be obviously motivated to win the title. Hopefully I’ll be able to rise to the occasion and play the best match of the week.”

Djokovic is aiming for a 25th career Masters trophy. His match record this season now stands at 52-3.

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