Shanghai - A feisty Roger Federer overcame Novak Djokovic in a gripping Shanghai
Masters semi-final on Saturday, ending the Serb's incredible winning
streak in China and his hopes of clinching a third successive title.
brilliant attacking display from the 17-times Grand Slam winner, who
served with aggression and spent much of his time at the net, unsettled
the world No 1 for a 6-4, 6-4 win.
Djokovic, the reigning
champion in Shanghai who clinched his fifth China Open title last week,
was gunning for his 29th consecutive win on Chinese soil in his first
match with Federer since their epic Wimbledon final.
were looking to unnerve each other early on, with Djokovic attempting
riskier groundstrokes to counter Federer confronting him at the net.
point was greeted with exuberant cheers in Shanghai's packed Qizhong
Tennis Centre, and the stadium erupted when Federer broke serve on his
second break-point in the fifth game.
saved the first break-point by finding a way past Federer - who was
again at the net - but gave away his serve with a weak backhand slice
He then earned his sole break-point of the set in
the next game, which Federer saved. The 33-year-old Swiss then produced a
perfect serving game at his next opportunity, firing four successive
aces to march to a 5-3 lead as he closed in on the set with another ace.
carried his ruthless approach into the early stages of the second set,
breaking in the first game with a lifting groundstroke that was beyond
Djokovic staged a valiant attempt to break as he
was losing 3-5 with some incredible net-play as the pair tussled at
deuce. But Federer recovered and claimed set and match in one hour 36
Federer improved to 19-17 overall against Djokovic with the
result, and will overtake Rafael Nadal to claim second place in the
rankings next week on the back of his run in Shanghai.
best showing at the Masters 1000 event was as runner up in 2010,
although he did win in Shanghai when it hosted the Tennis Masters Cup in
2006 and 2007.
He will meet Gilles Simon in the decider Sunday,
after the Frenchman powered past Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-6 (7/1) to reach
his first Masters final in six years and seal his return to the world
The world No 29 has only contested one Masters final
to date, when he lost to Andy Murray at Madrid 2008, but he is in a rich
vein of form after also reaching the last four in Tokyo last week.
beat Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and then sixth seed Czech
Tomas Berdych in the Shanghai quarter-finals after taking every game in
the final set.
On Saturday, he picked up where he left off in the
quarters, serving up a masterclass in aggressive play early on against
Lopez of Spain.
The former world No 6 broke Lopez's serve in the third game, before marching to a 5-1 lead and taking the set.
only mustered points in two of his opponent's six service games in the
second set, as the Frenchman sealed the match in 80 minutes.
"I really played what I had to, Simon said.
"I was feeling really good from the baseline. I felt I almost didn't lose one point from the baseline the whole match.
was difficult for him in the first part, then he was extra aggressive, I
would say, hitting full power his first serve, second serve, coming to
the net every time on his serve.
"But still I was really playing
good on my service game. I think I lost, what, seven points in the
match. It never happened to me on my serve."
Simon will re-enter the top 20 following his semi-final win, and could rise as high as 15 if he clinches the title on Sunday.Shanghai Masters results on Saturday:
Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-2, 7-6 (7/1)
Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) 6-4, 6-4