May 23, 2013
Murray and Federer set up Shanghai semi
Andy Murray remained on course for a hat-trick of titles at the Shanghai Masters despite the best efforts of tricky Czech Radek Stepanek today and now sets his sights on Roger Federer.
Third seed Murray, still on a high from winning the US Open last month, was out-foxed in the first set by the unorthodox Stepanek before recovering to win their quarter-final clash 4-6 6-2 6-3.
Number one seed Federer, who is guaranteed to spend a 300th week on top of the ATP rankings, cruised past Croatia's Marin Cilic 6-3 6-4 to conclude the day's action at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre.
In the bottom half, Tomas Berdych proved too solid for Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, winning 6-3 7-6, while Novak Djokovic ended the run of Germany's Tommy Haas, winning 6-3 6-3.
Murray met his match early on against Stepanek - a player who relies on crafty angles, changes of pace and razor-sharp volleys to throw opponents off balance.
Stepanek, 33, pounced on some loose play from Murray to earn three break points in the fifth game of the opening set and although two were saved the Czech converted the third.
Stepanek hardly lost a point on serve in the first set but Murray gradually got to grips with his opponent and seized control at 2-2 in the second set, surging ahead to take the match into a decider.
The momentum briefly switched back to Stepanek when he broke to lead 2-1 in the third but Murray responded immediately.