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Federer To Play Murray In Repeat Of 2010 Shanghai Final

Shanghai, China

Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesWorld No. 3 Andy Murray has won the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the past two years.

Top seed Roger Federer will meet third seed and two-time defending champion Andy Murray in a repeat of the 2010 Shanghai Rolex Masters final on Saturday. Murray leads 9-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

"I'm looking forward to the match," said Federer. "It's always great playing the best players. Those are the kind of matches you want to try to win because that can obviously then move the rankings by a little bit, even though it doesn't matter so much if you stay within the Top 4. It's going to be a tough match, [a] good one. From my side, I haven't decided yet how I'm going to play."

Federer hit 27 winners and eight aces past No. 10 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia in Friday’s quarter-finals for a 6-3, 6-4 victory in 82 minutes. Cilic, who dropped to 0-4 against Federer, won 54 per cent of first serve points won and committed 29 unforced errors.

It was the 871st victory of Federer’s career, which moves him into No. 4 overall for most match wins in the Open Era. The Swiss superstar improved to a 64-8 match record on the season, which includes six tour-level titles. This week, he is attempting to win a record 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy.

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Earlier in the day, Murray maintained his bid to win a Shanghai Rolex Masters title hat-trick when he defeated World No. 41 Radek Stepanek 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 19 minutes. Stepanek, who at 33 was the second oldest of the quarter-finalists (after Tommy Haas), lost just five of his service points to win the first set. Murray bounced back, although he wasn’t striking the ball cleanly at times, to improve to 5-1 overall against his Czech opponent.

“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, who won 21 of the final 26 points of the match. “[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.”

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Murray is now 52-12 on the year, which includes three titles at the Brisbane International (d. Dolgopolov), the London Olympics (d. Federer) and US Open (d. Djokovic). He will next play either World No. 1 Roger Federer or 10th seed Marin Cilic of Croatia on Saturday.

Stepanek is now 1-24 lifetime against Top 3 opponents in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. The former World No. 8 was attempting to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final since November 2009 at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

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