SHANGHAI — Novak Djokovic saved five match points in the second set before outlasting two-time defending champion Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (11), 6-3 on Sunday in the Shanghai Masters final.
In another entertaining matchup between the two U.S. Open finalists, Djokovic seemed headed for defeat when Murray was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
But the second-ranked Serb saved one match point in that game before breaking back for 5-5. He then saved four more in a tense tiebreaker and carried his momentum into the deciding set, breaking the Briton twice to earn his fifth title of the year.
"I won the match. But, you know, as spectators could see, we were very close," Djokovic said. "It was a very even match throughout the whole three sets. He was so close to the victory that I cannot say I was the better player."
It was Murray's first loss in Shanghai in 13 matches.
Murray, who beat Djokovic in five sets at Flushing Meadows for his first Grand Slam title, saved two match points in the final game, but sent a backhand long on the third.
"It was a disappointing one to lose," Murray said. "I've lost tougher matches than that before in the biggest events. So I'm sure I'll recover from it pretty well.
"It's not like I threw the match away. I didn't make, I don't think, any real glaring errors or anything."
At Linz, Austria, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka won her sixth WTA title of the season Sunday by beating Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4 at the Generali Ladies.
Azarenka, who now has 14 career titles, has won 13 straight matches without dropping a set since losing the U.S. Open final last month.