Novak Djokovic
Djokovic will battle for fifth China Open title in Sunday's final. Getty

Novak Djokovic is on course for his fifth China Open title after defeating Andy Murray in straight sets in Saturday's semi-final in Beijing.

World number one and defending champion Djokovic took control of the contest in the first set and saw off a late rally from the Scot to seal a 6-3 6-4 victory, and extend his flawless record in this competition to 23 consecutive wins.

It was also Djokovic's third win from three meetings with Murray this year following his wins at the Miami Masters and the US Open.

He will meet the winner of Saturday's other semi-final between Tomas Berdych and Martin Klizan, who eliminated Rafael Nadal on Friday, in Sunday's final.

After Djokovic eased to victory in the opening set, things looked bleak for the challenger who has never beaten his semi-final opponent after dropping the first set.

The defending champion looked to be cruising to a straight forward victory as he won 10 straight points to take a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Murray had his chances to close the gap.

Three games marred by self-inflicted errors from Djokovic saw the Scot draw level at 3-3, but he faltered, making two backhand errors to hand the initiative straight to the Serbian who took another break before serving out for the match.

"It was a two-set victory today, but still it felt like I had to work hard to win the points," said Djokovic.

"There was a lot of rally exchanges. He had a lot of chances to come back. He was 4-3 up. Just in important moments I managed to play the better tennis. The comfortable hold at 4-3 probably allowed me to have that relief, because obviously I didn't want him to break me and get into a third set where it can go either way."