There was tons to talk about on Friday in Shanghai as very little went according to plan. While the top two players in the world advanced, the manner in which they were victorious was a little surprising. They are joined in the semifinals by two men who very few people would have picked before the tournament. Here’s what happened on quarterfinal Friday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
On paper, Novak Djokovic had the easiest quarterfinal opponent, but had to play the toughest match as the world number one twice stood three points from defeat in his quarterfinal against qualifier Mischa Zverev. The top seed was broken twice as he dropped the opening set and fell behind an early break in the second before rallying to win the final two sets on route to a hard-fought victory. Check out the full recap here.
Roberto Bautista Agut denied the tennis world of a 2015 Shanghai final rematch, as the Spaniard brushed aside 2015 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. Bautista Agut got off to a flying start, breaking the Frenchman twice on his way to a 4-0 lead. While Tsonga would recover a break as the Spaniard served for the first set, Bautista Agut took the break right back to seal te opening set. The second set was tighter, with both men dominating on serve for the most part. Tsonga saved a break point in the sixth game, the lone game in which the returner had any control until the last game of the match. Serving to stay in it at 4-5, Tsonga stumbled, as Bautista Agut capitalised on a double break/match point opening to wrap up the 6-3, 6-4 win and reach his second Masters 1000 semifinal.
Gilles Simon advanced to his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Shanghai two years ago by edging Jack Sock in a three-set thriller. Simon got off to a terrible start, falling behind two early breaks on his way to dropping the opening set. But the Frenchman rallied with two late breaks in the second to send the match to a deciding set. After serve became sacred in the third set, Simon won the key points late in a wild tiebreak to claim victory. Check out the full recap here.
After second seed Andy Murray dominated the first two rounds, losing only nine games, it was expected that the red-hot Race to London hopeful David Goffin would slow him down, at least a little bit. But it was more of the same from Murray, as the Scot blew out Goffin 6-2, 6-2. In two near-identical sets, Murray won four unanswered games from 2-2 in both sets, breaking Goffin in his last two service games of each set. Check out the full recap here.
In the semifinals, Djokovic will take on Bautista Agut, while Murray will duel with Simon.