Shanghai, China (Sports Network) - This week's top-four seeds,
including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and reigning two-time champion Andy
Murray, all posted quarterfinal victories Friday at the $3.5 million Shanghai
Masters, the eighth of nine ATP Masters events this year.
The world No. 1 and 2010 Shanghai runner-up Federer handled 10th-seeded
Croat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4 on the hardcourts at Qi Zhong Tennis Center.
Federer popped eight aces in the 1-hour, 21-minute affair.
Federer's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be the third-seeded Murray, who
is 9-8 lifetime against the Swiss great, including a victory in the gold-medal
match at the London Olympic Games in August. Federer, however, beat the Brit
in the Wimbledon final in July and is 2-1 against Murray this season.
Murray upended Federer in the 2010 Shanghai finale.
Federer will remain atop the ATP World Tour rankings for a 300th week next
week. He already holds the record for most weeks at No. 1.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded former No. 1 Djokovic whipped former world
No. 2 Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 6-3 in 81 minutes and Murray fought back to
get past Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in 2 hours, 18 minutes.
The 34-year-old Haas was going for his 500th career ATP victory on Friday.
Djokovic, who is now 51-1 against non-Top-10 players this year, is fresh
off his title in Beijing last week. The super Serb is also an ATP-best 68-12
The U.S. Open champion and Olympic gold medalist Murray captured his second
straight Shanghai title by beating Spaniard David Ferrer in last year's
finale at Qi Zhong. Murray is now 11-0 at this event.
Djokovic's semifinal opponent will be fourth-seeded Czech slugger Tomas
Berdych, who fired nine aces and was not broken in beating fifth-seeded French
star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) on Day 6. Tsonga was last week's
Beijing runner-up to Djokovic.
The former world No. 1 Djokovic is a dominant 9-1 lifetime against Berdych,
including a win in Monte Carlo back in April.
"It's always a big challenge when you're playing a top-10 player, especially
when somebody who is an established one," Djokovic said of Berdych. "Tomas has
been winning against top players on different surfaces in the last couple of
years, so he knows how to play on a big stage and he knows how to play in big
moments. It's going to be tough. But I've been playing well, too. So I'll try
to look for my chances tomorrow from the baseline and see how it goes."
The 2012 Shanghai champ will collect $669,450.
The Sports Network