Britain’s Andy Murray missed out on a place in the China Open final as he lost 6-3 6-4 to Novak Djokovic.
Defending champion and world number one Djokovic claimed the key break of serve in the eighth game in Beijing.
He started the second set with another break and, although the Scot rallied, Djokovic wrapped up his 23rd consecutive win in the tournament. The Serb will meet Tomas Berdych, who beat Rafael Nadal’s conqueror Martin Klizan 6-4 6-1.
Murray, who has never beaten 27-year-old Djokovic after losing the first set, recovered from losing his serve again at the start of the second set by breaking back to level at 3-3.
However, four-time champion Djokovic forced the error to break once more and open up a 5-4 lead before sealing victory in an hour and 36 minutes.
“I was doing a decent job of it myself, but I just made a few too many errors,” said Murray.
“I played some good stuff. But in the middle of the first set, and the beginning of the second set, I could have done better.”
Murray, 27, has moved up to ninth in the Race to London standings, (external) with the top eight qualifying for November’s season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London. (external)
“I’m glad that I’m back in the form that I would like to be in, especially in these courts where I still haven’t lost ever since I played this tournament,” said Djokovic.
“Hopefully, I can finish the year in style, similar as I finished last year.”
In the day’s second semi-final, Klizan recovered from going over on his ankle early in the match but was unable to get to grips with Berdych.
Once the third seed and 2011 champion from the Czech Republic broke to take the first set, he dominated the Slovakian and wrapped up the win in an hour and 21 minutes.
Source : bbc sports