Nadal, Djokovic, Davydenko, Lopez reach Shanghai semis
SHANGHAI: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko and Feliciano Lopez moved in to the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters here on Friday.
In the first menís singles quarter-finals of the tournament being played at the Zhong Central Arena in Shanghai, Nikolay Davydenko moved closer to a spot in next month''s season-ending
showpiece in London with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 defeat of Radek Stepanek.
The Russian sixth seed, who missed three months of the season with injuries but has still reached a dozen quarter-finals in 2009, leapfrogged Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Chile''s Fernando Gonzalez to currently stand a provisional ninth in the race to the World Tour Finals.
Three places remain up for grabs in the eight-man field with a month of the regular ATP season to go.
Davydenko, aged 28, next faces Djokovic standing 0-3 in the series.
In other quarter-finals, Spain''s unseeded Feliciano Lopez continued his winning streak of the
season, producing his best showing of 2009 for a place in the final four with an upset of ninth seed Robin Soderling 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
The Swede, who played the Roland Garros final against Roger Federer, led 4-2 in the opening set before Lopez, 28 and ranked 41st, seized the momentum for the win in 94 minutes with three breaks of serve and 30 unforced errors by Soderling.
Lopez could next face fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal if the top seed goes past Ivan Ljubicic later.
Frenchman Gilles Simon put up a fight before second seed Novak Djokovic struggled through into his second straight semi-final with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win.
Second seed Djokovic backed up his Beijing title of last weekend as he overcame stiff resistance to advance into the last four, with Simon saving a pair of match points.
The Serb broke to start the opening set before Simon, winner of the Bangkok title last month, retaliated by taking the second.
A run of breaks in the third finally ended with Djokovic taking a 4-2 lead on his way to a semi-final spot in his fifth Masters 1000 of the season.
Rafael Nadal moved in to the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters Friday when injured Ivan Ljubicic retired with a leg problem to hand a 3-6, 6-3 win to the top-seeded Spaniard.
Nadal expressed disappointment at the bitter ending as the veteran Croatian could not go on at an event peppered with pullouts all week, including by Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick and US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro.
Nadal will Saturday face a surprise opponent in unseeded compatriot Feliciano Lopez, who continued on the winning streak of his season. The 28-year-old produced his best showing of 2009 for a place in the final four with an upset of ninth seed Robin Soderling 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.