Shanghai : Novak Djokovic will face Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters after the 14-time Grand Slam champion beat Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 on Friday. Djokovic saved set point in the opener before taking control of the tie break and the second set to dump out the South African seventh seed in efficient fashion. The 31-year-old from Serbia is in sparkling form, winning Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open in recent months, after having elbow surgery in February.
Djokovic will meet Zverev on Saturday after the rising star defeated Kyle Edmund to reach his first Shanghai Masters semi-final. The fourth seed’s 6-4, 6-4 victory over the 11th-seeded Briton also seals his place in the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month. Federer dumps Kei Roger Federer blazed into the semi-finals with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Kei Nishikori as the Swiss great’s title defence belatedly caught fire.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion and top seed will meet 13th seed Borna Coric on Saturday after the Croatian defeated unseeded Australian Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-4. The 37-year-old Federer was forced to battle through the first two matches of his title defence, first to Daniil Medvedev and then Roberto Bautista Agut. But he put Nishikori under the cosh immediately, breaking the eighth seed in the first game of both sets, though the Japanese did well to recover and force a second-set tie break.
Federer had to play catch-up in the tie break and said afterwards that he was relieved to avoid another three-setter. “I saw Kei was playing extremely aggressive, especially towards the end of the second set,” said the Swiss world number two, who has been content with his form this week despite being pushed to three sets in his other two matches. “I knew I had to step it up too, and I was able to do it, so it’s a good feeling to have, no doubt about it.” Djokovic said that he was relishing facing “top player” Zverev after the 14-time Grand Slam champion beat Kevin Anderson.