Murray, Djokovic Lead Shanghai QF Line-up Friday
The quarter-finals at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Friday are led by the top two players in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. They have combined to win five of the previous seven tournament titles with Murray winning in 2010-11 and Djokovic in 2012-13, 2015.
In the opening match on Stadium, No. 16 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 9 seed/last year’s finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meet for the fifth time (tied 2-2). Tsonga won both of last year’s meetings and Bautista Agut has claimed both of this year’s contests, from a set down in the Auckland semi-finals (saving match point) and in the 3R at ATP Masters 1000 Miami (in a third set tie-break). The Spaniard is appearing in his second career ATP Masters 1000 QF, the first since 2014 Madrid where he reached the SFs. Tsonga, who is making his fifth QF showing in Shanghai, is trying to reach his first SF since ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo in April.
In the next match on, Djokovic takes on qualifier Mischa Zverev for the second time. Djokovic won the previous encounter 63 63 in the QFs at 2009 Marseille. The World No. 1 is attempting to reach his seventh SF here in as many attempts. He has a 20-1 record in Shanghai since 2012 with his lone loss to Federer in the semi-finals two years ago. Djokovic is also eyeing his 30th ATP Masters 1000 match win of the season (29-2). The 29-year-old Serb leads the ATP World Tour with seven titles this year, including four coming at ATP Masters 1000 events. Zverev is making his second career QF showing in an ATP Masters 1000 tournament (2009 Rome). He is the first qualifier to advance to the quarter-finals in Shanghai since Matthew Ebden in 2011. Next Monday, the 29-year-old German will return to the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since June 6, 2011. He will jump from No. 110 to around No. 72. Zverev is facing a World No. 1 for the first time in his career. He is 4-10 against Top 10 opponents and his last win came over No. 6 Davydenko in the 2R of 2010 Shanghai.
In the evening session, unseeded Jack Sock and Gilles Simon square off for the third time (tied 1-1). Their previous meetings came last year with Simon winning in three sets in the 1R at ATP Masters 1000 Rome and Sock coming back to win 75 76 in the QFs in Stockholm. Sock, who is also left in the doubles semi-finals (w/Isner), is appearing in his first career ATP Masters 1000 singles QF. He saved two match points in his 3R win over No. 6-ranked Raonic. Simon, who reached the Shanghai final two years ago, is coming off his first Top 3 win since 2008 after defeating No. 3 Wawrinka on Thursday. He is trying to reach his second SF of the year (Metz).
In the final match on, No. 11 seed David Goffin, who moved to No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Race to London, takes on Murray for the fifth time. Murray is 4-0 in their head-to-head, winning all 10 sets. Goffin is trying to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 SF of the season (Indian Wells, Miami) and post his second straight Top 10 win. Murray leads the ATP World Tour with 62 match wins and is second with five titles this season.
In doubles, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares will pass Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the No. 1 team in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race to London, by winning their quarter-final match. They take on unseeded Kontinen/Peers. A win in the quarter-finals will also make Soares the 50th World No. 1 in the 40-year history of the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings. Soares would pass current No. 1 Mahut. Marcelo Melo is the other Brazilian to rank No. 1 in doubles. He held the top spot for 24 weeks, first accomplished on Nov. 2, 2015.