Australian Bernard Tomic’s impressive run at the Shanghai Masters is over, with the young gun outclassed in straight sets in his quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic.
It was an impressive start from Tomic on Friday, who managed to stretch the World No.1 to a tiebreak in the first set before losing his momentum, handing the Serb the match 7-6 (8-6) 6-1.
Tomic nailed five aces and 18 clean winners to save three set points in the tiebreak, but surrendered the first set with a backhand error.
The match was Tomic’s ninth quarter-final this season.
Djokovic said the 22-year-old’s late finish against Richard Gasquet appeared to take its toll.
“I think physically maybe he felt a bit exhausted. Last night he played three sets. He finished after midnight. Maybe that has influenced a little bit his game in the second set,” Djokovic said.
“Then again, I’ve started to read his serve a little bit better, started to move him around the court. The first game of the second set was crucial, I think, making that break.”
Tomic has a reputation for quick losses and was once dubbed “Tomic the tank engine”. Last year he lost the fastest recorded match 6-0 6-1 to Jarkko Nieminen in 28 minutes, 20 seconds in Miami.
Despite the loss, Tomic remains focused on rising up the rankings, he is now projected to reach a career high of 18.
“For me it was very, very important this first set – after, I think I was dead,” Tomic said.
“I was trying to stay with him but he looked so fresh and so energetic.”
Djokovic will now face off against Andy Murray in the semis, after the Scot overcame heated rival Tomas Berdych 6-1 6-3 to make it three straight victories over the Czech this year.
Earlier Rafael Nadal’s resurgence moved ahead with a 6-2 6-1 win over Stan Wawrinka, setting up a clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who was taken to three sets by Kevin Anderson.