Andy Murray will resume his rivalry with Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters today.
Murray was forced to work hard for his 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Radek Stepanek, negotiating a shaky start to power past the world No.41.
The US Open champion remains on course for a third successive Shanghai Masters title, but admitted Stepanek had caused him problems.
“It was quite a scrappy first couple of sets, but obviously in the second set I managed to get a break and got a bit of momentum,” Murray said. “I started going for my shots and dictated a majority of those at the end of the match. Obviously I needed to do that because he was playing with a lot of variety, making it hard.
Top seed Federer enjoyed a more comfortable passage into the semi-finals after swatting aside Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3 6-4.
The Swiss needed only 82 minutes to crush Cilic and claim the 871st win of his career. Murray and Federer have met 17 times in the past with the Scot leading 9-8.
The world No.1 will be desperate for a measure of revenge, however, after he was thumped by Murray in the gold medal singles encounter at London 2012.
The second semi-final will see Novak Djokovic meet Tomas Berdych with both players enjoying straight sets passage out of the last eight. Second seed Djokovic dispatched Tommy Haas 6-3 6-3, denying the German the 500th victory of his career, while Berdych downed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (7/4).
Meanwhile, Linlithgow’s Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins won their Rolex Masters doubles quarter-final 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 against Aisam Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer.
“Really happy to get the win today in a battle of a match. Thru to our 1st Masters 1000 SF tomorrow!” he tweeted.