Friends and rivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray closed to within one match from a Shanghai Sunday showdown in the finals.
Earlier today, the top seed and defending champion Djokovic overcame a set down to deny qualifier Mischa Zverev 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 in 2-hours, 21-minutes.
Djokovic struggled early against the world No. 110 and was down 2-0 in the second before he found his footing.
“I had to dig myself out of a hole,” said Djokovic. “He was the better player for most of the first part of the match. He was up a set and a break, [then] a game away from winning. Tactically played well. He slowed down the pace. I knew his game, but I haven’t played him for many, many years.
“Credit to him, definitely for playing well. He was fighting, he was focused. He gave his best, and he was few points from winning. It was a very close one.”
Djokovic finished with 6 doubles faults, 45 winners and 37 unforced errors. Djokovic now will face Roberta Bautista Agut in the semifinals after the Spaniard surprised 2015 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-4.
“Plays very consistently with the slower pace from the baseline,” said Djokovic of RBA who he is 5-0 against. “He’s also somebody that has tremendous anticipation on the court. I think he reads the game very well. He’s a smart player. He’s been playing very well throughout the week. I saw a little bit of his match against Jo today. He’s very solid. He’s not going to give you the win. So I need to obviously earn it.”
In the second semifinal, Murray will meet Gilles Simon. The Scot won his 8th straight match (16th straight set) hammering David Goffin 6-2, 6-2.
“Most games were very close,” said Murray who never lost serve. “He fought hard and saved a number of break points. I had to stay strong there in the second, because physically, although it was a 6-2, 6-2 match, it wasn’t easy because a lot of the points were tough. He plays close up on the baseline, takes the ball early and makes you move a lot.”
Simon had to come from a set down to defeat American Jack Sock 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5). Sock led in the decisive tiebreak 5-4 before dropping the last three points of the match.
SATURDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 1:30 pm
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO)
Not Before 4:30 pm
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs  R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 pm
G. Simon (FRA) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
UNION PAY 3 start 6:00 pm
J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) vs  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
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