Second Andy Murray breezed to a 6-3 6-0 semi-final victory over Kei Nishikori on Saturday to set up a final with Novak Djokovic at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
But the outsider rose to the big occasion as he forced his world number one opponent to save two match points in the second-set tiebreaker of a thriller lasting two and a half hours.
He stretched his career record against Chardy to 10-0.
Murray has yet to lose a set in Canada and his win on Friday has guaranteed him a place in November’s ATP World Tour Finals in November.
It will put Djokovic, ranked first in the world, against Murray, who will take over the No. 2 ranking with his semifinal win. “When I reflect on the week, of course it’s positive”, Djokovic said.
“I don’t know much detail”, said Murray, whose wife Kim is due to give birth to their first child in February. His match record this season now stands at 52-3. I definitely needed to change some of my tactics when playing against Rafa.
Coming off an opening match loss in Washington last week, Murray has also finding his footing on the Canadian hardcourts advancing to the final eight in singles but crashed out later in the doubles losing to his brother Jamie. Try as he might, Djokovic could not convert any of his nine break point opportunities in the third set. “That’s something that I take as a positive from this week”, Djokovic said.
Britain’s number one was not about to be unsettled, however, as he came back with another break of his own in the sixth to tie proceedings at 3-3.
“Andy, who is an all-around player, very complete, has been somebody that has been around for so many years”. “It’s not easy now playing against some the greatest players ever to play the game”.
Djokovic is not a big server, but he gets a very high percent of his first serves in.
But Murray would have the last word, ending a run of three straight Djokovic games before taking the second of two break points as the number one seed mishit a forehand.
“It was good to get a quick win like this”, said Djokovic.
Murray looked to impose himself early in the first set, and he soon moved ahead with a memorable break in the fourth game having made use of the best part of six attempts to defeat the Serbian’s serve.