Djokovic, Federer storm into Shanghai semifinal

Shanghai: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer set up their third major semi-final clash in two months on Friday as the pair each sailed to straight-set wins at the Shanghai Masters.

Second seed Djokovic, who lost to the world number three Swiss in Toronto in August but beat him at the US Open in September, earned a ninth straight match win in China as he advanced over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-3.

"I felt great on the court today," said US Open finalist Djokovic, who claimed his second Beijing title only days ago.

"Generally it was a great match for me.

"I keep on doing a good job here. I just need to focus on my game. If I play as well as I did these last few days, I think I have a good chance."

Spaniard Garcia-Lopez made his name this autumn as he beat Rafael Nadal in the Bangkok semi-finals a fortnight ago.

Federer was at his ruthless best as he dismantled the big game of Swede Robin Soderling 6-1, 6-1 in just 53 minutes.

The quick victory took his runaway record in the series to 14-1, with his sole loss in last spring`s Roland Garros quarter-finals.

Today`s match was Federer`s most devastating defeat of Soderling, a finalist at the last two French Opens.

At the top of the draw, fourth seed Andy Murray faces a surprise opponent in Juan Monaco after the Argentine beat Jurgen Melzer 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-2 a day after the Austrian had put out world number one Nadal.

Murray turned in another efficient performance against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who he easily brushed aside 6-2, 6-2.

Murray`s game was looking bleak a week ago in Beijing when he lost in the quarter-finals and remained without a place in next month`s eight-man World Tour Finals in London.

But that problem was solved with Murray`s third-round win on Thursday against another French opponent in Jeremy Chardy, who proved to be just a warm-up for the damage inflicted on Tsonga, the 2008 Australian Open finalist.

"It was nice today, good conditions, there was no wind," said Murray, playing under the open stadium roof after four days of rain.

"The sun had gone as well. Normally, those are the two things that make playing outdoors a little bit trickier.

"I got used to the conditions pretty quickly. It was a little bit different when the roof`s closed, but it didn`t really affect me today."

Murray blasted through in 54 minutes without facing a break point and overcoming the Tsonga serve on four occasions. The Scot finished his rout as the frustrated Frenchman sailed a return long over the baseline.

The result was the seventh loss in eight recent meetings with a top 10 opponent for Tsonga, seeded 12th but struggling with form after returning only last week in Tokyo after a knee problem which kept him off the summer hardcourt circuit.

"I got off to a good start, which is important against him," said Murray, still looking for a second title of 2010 after winning Toronto against Roger Federer. "He`s a really good frontrunner.

"But he struggled a little bit on his serve. He wasn`t serving as big as usual, so I managed to get into a lot of the return games."

Bureau Report