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Murray faces Djokovic test in Shanghai semis

Andy Murray will play Novak Djokovic for the 29th time on the ATP circuit.
Andy Murray will play Novak Djokovic for the 29th time on the ATP circuit. Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic has a familiar ring about it at the business end of a major tournament. The two will play in Saturday's semi-final for a place in Sunday's final at the Shanghai Masters. The victor will meet either Rafael Nadal or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


The top two men in the world will play for a place in Sunday's showdown in Shanghai.

Third seed Andy Murray will rise to world number two when the ATP rankings are published on Monday. It follows his run to the semi-final of the tournament and the second round elimination of Roger Federer.

The 34-year-old Swiss, who won last year's competition, will fall to world number three because of his failure to defend the points gained from his 2014 triumph.

Murray, 28, who breezed past the Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych 6-1 6-3 on Friday, will play the top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic.

He initially struggled with the uncompromising game of the Australian Bernard Tomic. But once Djokovic had taken the opening set on a tie-break, it was one-way traffic in the second. The Serb took it 6-1.

"I think physically maybe he felt a bit exhausted," said Djokovic after the victory. "On Thursday night he played three sets and he finished after midnight. Maybe that has influenced a little bit his game in the second set.

"But then again, I started to read his serve a little bit better, started to move him around the court. The first game of the second set was crucial, I think, making that break."

It will be the 29th encounter on the ATP tour between Murray and Djokovic. The Serb lords it over the Briton 19-9 in the head-to-heads.

The other semi-final will be between former world number one Rafael Nadal and the French 16th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Both had contrasting journeys into the last four.

Tsonga, 30, had to battle over three sets with the big serving South African Kevin Anderson. Nadal demolished the Swiss fourth seed Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-1 in 64 minutes to reach the semi-final of a Masters 1000 event for the first time since the Madrid tournament in May where Murray beat him in the final.

Wawrinka, who played for nearly three hours in his last 16 match on Thursday night with Marin Cilic, made 34 unforced errors and was on target with just 45 per cent of his first serves. "Today I was just struggling a little bit," said the 30-year-old who claimed the Japan Open in Tokyo last Sunday. "It's that simple. Against Nadal you cannot do anything if you're not 100 per cent." 

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