Andy Murray continued his hot streak Friday in Shanghai dusting qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2. Murray has now won 12 straight matches in Asia and 23 of his last 24 matches.
“I feel like I can play better. I served well so far. But I think I can hit the ball a bit better from the back of the court. And, like I said a few days ago, it’s different conditions to the last couple of weeks. Maybe still adjusting a bit.”
If Murray wins the title on Sunday he will move into the No. 3 ranking ahead of Roger Federer. The Scot will now play Japanese favorite Kei Nishikori who upended Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-3 to reach his first career ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.
“I feel like home here,” said Nishikori. “It means a lot to play semis here. I’m really excited now. I think I started well today. I knew he [was] going to hit a lot of slice and I have to be careful. I was trying to not go for too much, just try to [be] steady on the court, and that worked.”
The early semifinal places Spanish countrymen David Ferrer against Feliciano Lopez.
The lefty Lopez breezed past Nadal conqueror Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-4. However, Ferrer went the distance edging Andy Roddick in a third-set tiebreak thriller 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(2), all but dashing the hopes the American had of qualifying for the year-end London championships in London.
“[I have] more confidence with my first serve,” said Ferrer who out aced Roddick 11 to 10. “This tournament, in the important moments I’ve served really good. So this is very important to every match.”
Surprisingly, Lopez leads Ferrer 6-4 in their 10 meetings and 6-1 on hardcourts.
“I think it’s going to be a very tough match,” said Lopez, looking ahead to Saturday’s semi-final. “David is a top player right now this moment, so I know it’s going to be tough to beat him. He’s a fighter. He’s very fast. He’s one of the best returners in the game right now, so I know it’s going to be a difficult match. If I want to continue winning, I have to play the way I was playing today and yesterday.”
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