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Djokovic and Federer to clash in Shanghai Masters semis

sports Updated: Oct 11, 2014 01:27 IST
Novak Djokovic

World number one Novak Djokovic and 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will battle for a place in the Shanghai Masters final after they powered through their quarter-final matches on Friday.

Gilles Simon of France and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez will also meet in Saturday's semi-finals as the tournament reaches its dramatic climax.

Federer won his evening match against Julien Benneteau of France, taking the first set at the tie-break, before demolishing his opponent in the second to finish with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 scoreline.

Federer, the third seed in Shanghai, last faced Djokovic in the epic Wimbledon final.

The Swiss player is marginally ahead in their previous meetings, winning 18 times, compared to 17 for seven-times Grand Slam winner Djokovic.

"I think every time we play against each other, it's a thriller," Shanghai top seed Djokovic said.

"It's really a big challenge for both of us. We need to take the best out of us. We need to bring our 'A game' in order to win."

Federer has been in stunning form this season, and is set to overtake world number two Rafael Nadal in the rankings on the back of his run in Shanghai.

But both players are some distance behind Djokovic.

"I think we always play tough against each other," Federer said on his semi-final opponent.

"We'll see how much he can actually do, how much he can neutralise me, and how much I can do with him."

'Given a scare'

Djokovic marched into the semi-finals by overcoming David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2 as he vies for his third successive title.

The Serb broke the Spaniard's serve in the first game, but was given a scare as he was serving to take the first set with the score at 5-4 in his favour.

Ferrer, who dumped out Britain's Andy Murray in the quarters, saved three set-points against the reigning champion in Shanghai before earning two break points.

But Djokovic snuffed out the challenge and finally closed the marathon 12-minute game at the net, pumping his fists with relief as the crowd roared.

He was more dominant in the second set, breaking fifth seed Ferrer again at his first attempt before gaining a 5-2 lead with his next break and closing out the match in one hour 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, Simon continued his great run in Shanghai, overwhelming Tomas Berdych in a scintillating final set to claim his second top-10 scalp in three days.

The world number 29 won 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-0 to enter his second successive semi-final, after also making the last four in Tokyo last week where he lost to Milos Raonic.

Simon is yet to win a Masters title but he is in a rich vein of form and overpowered Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday in Shanghai.

'I feel stronger'

"I feel my tennis is coming back from the last, I would say, two months," Simon said after his victory.

"I'm finding a better rhythm. I feel also physically stronger. I have less injuries. So, I mean, it's a bit easier to go on the court.

"But still Tomas is a great player. He's always hard to beat. I think I almost played the perfect match today (Friday)."

Lopez, the world number 21, beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.