SHANGHAI - Novak Djokovic gained sweet revenge for his US Open defeat to Andy Murray yesterday, saving five match points to seal a stunning 5-7 7-6 (13-11) 6-3 victory in the Shanghai Masters final.
The iron-willed Serbian was second-best for long stretches but refused to be beaten. He sealed his 13th Masters title in a contest lasting three hours and 21 minutes as he pursues Roger Federer at the top of the rankings.
The thrilling duel, played out in front of a packed crowd at the Qi Zhong Stadium, hinged on a monster second-set tiebreak that lasted more than 20 minutes, which the second seed won to stay alive in the match.
The defeat, in a match packed with high-quality tennis, was British third seed Murray's first loss at the Shanghai Masters after he won the tournament in 2010 and 2011.
"Could have easily gone the other way. He was five match points up," said Djokovic. "When I faced those match points, I tried to focus on each individually.
"We were very close."
The Serbian said the title would give him an injection of confidence as he closes in on the top spot in the rankings, which he said was his "biggest objective".
"It's something I'm aiming for. Obviously this is going to be a huge confidence boost and also is going to help me in the race for No.1," he added.