Ferrer ousts Murray, Djokovic and Federer into quarters
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer notched up contrasting victories to reach the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals on Thursday while David Ferrer fought back from a set down to knock out Andy Murray.
World number one Djokovic labored to a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over plucky Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin who matched the Serb shot for shot for most of the match before being overpowered in the third set.
Two-time champion Djokovic broke Kukushkin for a 5-3 lead before closing out the first set but the Kazakh roared back into contention to stretch the contest to a decider.
Djokovic broke his opponent in the fifth game of the third set before extending his winning streak in China to 27 matches and seal a quarter-final clash with Ferrer.
"I congratulate him for fighting," Djokovic said of Kukushkin. "But I'm really glad to come out as the winner and stay mentally strong. That's why I won. I won because I fought my way through."
Ferrer overcame Murray 2-6 6-1 6-2 earlier on Thursday and the Spaniard will now replace the Briton in ninth spot in the race for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London. There are five berths still up for grabs in the eight-man tournament.
Murray had little trouble in the first set and looked poised for a quarter-finals berth, but Ferrer staged a brilliant comeback, breaking the Briton twice to take the second and level the match.
There was no let up in the final set either as the Spaniard raced to a 5-2 lead and raised his arms in celebration when twice champion Murray buried a return into the net.
An in-form Ferrer would prove a difficult opponent, said Djokovic. Continued...