SHANGHAI, China – Thirty-Four year-old veteran Radek Stepanek is not to be taken lightly. The Czech known for his crafty, diverse game had already dismissed two seeds earlier in this week’s Shanhai Rolex Masters – (8) John Isner and (11) Richard Gasquet. Stepanek gave two-time defending Shanghai champion No. 3 Andy Murray a battle on Friday, but the Scot prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to move into the semifinals.
Stepanek controlled the first hitting 10 winners past Murray. The Scot rebounded in the second set breaking the Czech’s serve in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead. Murray dismissed two break points against him in the next game and broke Stepanek again in the eighth game to close the set.
Stepanek went up a break in the final set 2-1 and was a point away from 3-1 when Murray took 21 of the next 26 points to settle the match.
“It was quite a scrappy first couple of sets, but obviously the second set I managed to get a break, got a bit of momentum,” said Murray. “[I] started going for my shots and dictated a majority of those at the end of the match. Obviously I needed to, because he was playing with a lot of variety, making it hard for me. I was a little bit tentative on some shots. [I] allowed him to come forward.”
Murray kept his record in Shanghai perfect at 11-0 and will face Roger Federer next for a place in the final.
No. 2 Novak Djokovic denied Tommy Haas his 600th career victory. The Serb stopped the German 6-3, 6-3 for an ATP World Tour leading 68th win of the year to reach the semifinals where he’ll play Tomas Berdych. Djokovic is 9-1 versus the Czech.
“I’ve been winning a lot of matches,” Djokovic said. “So it’s something that is always welcome when you want to have confidence, when you want to feel good about yourself on the court. Winning matches is the ultimate goal for every athlete. My return games were exceptional. So it’s something that gave me a lot of confidence today.”
Haas had a good week taking down two seeds in Nicolas Almagro and Janko Tipsarevic.
No. 1 Roger Federer improved his record against Marin Cilic to 4-0, defeating the Croat 6-3, 6-4. He’ll face Andy Murray in a rematch of the 2010 final.
“I assume he’s very confident right now and probably playing with a little bit less pressure,” said Federer. “Then again, that can go either way. It’s been a long year for all of us.”
Federer has never won the Shanghai Masters.
Tennis Panorama News is in Shanghai this week covering the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Follow updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 12 OCTOBER, 2012
Singles – Quarter-finals
 R Federer (SUI) d  M Cilic (CRO) 63 64
 N Djokovic (SRB) d T Haas (GER) 63 63
 A Murray (GBR) d R Stepanek (CZE) 46 62 63
 T Berdych (CZE) d  J Tsonga (FRA) 63 76(4)
Doubles – Quarter-finals
 M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) d  M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) 76(7) 64
 L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) d J Melzer (AUT) / M Raonic (CAN) 75 67(4) 10-5
C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR) d  A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 76(2) 46 12-10
M Cilic (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d E Butorac (USA) / P Petzschner (GER) 63 76(5)
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 13 OCTOBER, 2012
STADIUM start 2:00 pm
C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR) vs  M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND)
Not Before 4:30 PM
 T Berdych (CZE) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 8:00 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  A Murray (GBR)
GRANDSTAND start 6:00 pm
M Cilic (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) vs  L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE)