Novak advances to semi-finals in Shanghai!

World no.4 Novak Djokovic defeated no.8 seed Frenchman Gilles Simon in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 in 2 hours and 23 minutes to reach the semi-finals at the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 Presented by Rolex on Friday.

Djokovic broke Simon’s service in the second game of the first set. It lasted 9 minutes, they played 14 points, and Novak used his fourth chance for 2-0. The Frenchman broke back in the fifth game, but Nole made another break and then held for 5-2. The Serb produced his first ace of the match to bring up three set points, before wrapping up the set 6-3 at the first attempt when Simon hit a forehand long.

Simon was dominating in the second set. He took it 6-2, breaking Djokovic’s service twice.

We saw five straight breaks of serve at the beginning of the third set. Nole made three and was first to hold his own in the sixth game for 4-2 lead. That was probably the crucial moment in the match. He broke Simon’s service for the fourth time and then closed the set and match 6-2.

The 22-year-old from Belgrade advanced to his 13th ATP World Tour semi-final this year and improved to a 66-17 match record on the 2009 tour season.

He will play against no.6 seed Nikolay Davydenko for a place in the finals. The Russian beat no.13 seed Czech Radek Stepanek 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

Djokovic and Davydenko have met eachother three times before, with Nole leading 2-1 in the head-to-heads, having lost their first match in Davis Cup tie last year. The Serb won both matches at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai in 2008, RR and in the finals.

The semi-final is scheduled on Saturday at 10.30 CET.

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