Shanghai, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal moved into the semifinals at the $3.85 million Shanghai Masters tennis event.
The reigning Shanghai champion and former world No. 1 Djokovic fought back to beat flamboyant former top-10 Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4 in 2 hours, 23 minutes, while the newly-crowned No. 1 Nadal handled eighth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (12-10), 6-1 in 1 hour, 46 minutes Friday on the hardcourts at Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena. Monfils upset Roger Federer here on Thursday.
Djokovic is now 60-9 this year and has recorded at least 60 match wins for a seventh consecutive season.
The super Serb defeated then two-time reigning champion Andy Murray in last year's Shanghai finale. Djokovic beat the U.S. and French Open champion Nadal in last week's marquee finale at the China Open in Beijing.
The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open and Wimbledon runner-up Djokovic will face seventh-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Saturday's semifinals, while the 2009 Shanghai runner-up Nadal will take on sixth-seeded former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro.
Last week's Tokyo titlist del Potro drubbed 15th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-3, while the former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga trounced German Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3 on Day 6.
Djokovic is 10-5 lifetime against Tsonga, including a win in the 2008 Aussie Open final, while Nadal is 8-3 all-time versus the formidable del Potro, who has never captured a Masters title.
"I felt close to them in some parts of the year, some matches during this year, like in Wimbledon (where he lost in the semifinals to Djokovic), or when I beat Djokovic (and) Murray in Indian Wells," del Potro said. "I'm doing well at the moment. Could be fantastic for me if I finish the year top five, top six, playing the (ATP Finals) in London."
The amazing Nadal is looking to pad his record of 26 Masters titles this week.
This week's big winner will earn $730,000.