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Watch highlights as Henri Kontinen and John Peers win a clutch quarter-final against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in Shanghai on Friday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Kontinen/Peers Boost London Bid With Shanghai QF Win

Making strides in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London

Henri Kontinen and John Peers boosted their Barclays ATP World Tour Finals qualification bid as they reached the Shanghai Rolex Masters semi-finals.

The Finnish/Australian duo inched their way up to No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London with 3,070 points, after beating Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-3, 7-6(4) on Friday. They now lead No. 8-placed Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi (3,065) by just five points.

The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the prestigious season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 13-20 November.

"It was great to get the win today," said Peers. "We have been building together as a team and it's been great to put three matches together. The challenge is again to back up tomorrow with another good performance. 

"Getting closer to the end of the year, London is around the corner and it was our goal from the start of the year to qualify for it. All we can do is control what we can and hopefully that will give us the opportunity to play London."

Peers qualified last year alongside Murray and will look to return alongside Kontinen, who would be making his debut in east London. The duo, who joined forces at the start of the season, is bidding to win their fourth team title, adding to victories in Brisbane, Munich and Hamburg.

Murray and Soares, winners of the Australian Open and US Open this year, are already assured of their spot in London. The British/Brazilian pairing missed the chance to overtake No. 1 Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the year-to-date Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, though only five points separate the teams as the battle for year-end No. 1 goes into the final stretch of the season.

Had Murray and Soares triumphed, Soares would have become the 50th player in the history of the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings to attain the No. 1 spot.

For a place in the final, Kontinen and Peers will face Croatians Marin Cilic and Mate Pavic, who defeated Pablo Cuevas and Marcel Granollers 7-6(5), 6-3. Pavic has won four ATP World Tour doubles titles this year alongside Michael Venus and will look to reach his first final with Cilic, who is bidding to win his first doubles trophy.