Defending champion Andy Murray defeated Radek Stepanek in the Shanghai Masters 2012 quarterfinal match, coming back from a set down to eventually prevail 4-6 6-2 6-3.
Murray, who has been a bit sick throughout this week, struggled against the superbly playing Stepanek in the first set. The Czech struck in the fifth game, taking the Brit’s serve and never looking back as he captured the opener in 39 minutes. Stepanek’s serve helped him along the way as his first serve percentage was at 68%, winning an amazing 98% of points after the first serve found it’s mark. The Czech’s net points conversion was flawless too, 8 out of 8.
However, the Czech doubles player specialist couldn’t maintain the high level of tennis in the second set. His serve was letting him down a lot more, producing some double faults and missing some routine volleys. Murray punished him for it as he took his serve in the sixth and then in the eight game when Stepanek was serving to stay in the set. Thus, the Chinese crowd was going to witness a third set that was to decide the semi-finalist of this year’s tournament.
In the decider, Stepanek got an early break, taking Murray’s serve in the third game for a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Czech, the Olympic and 2012 US open champion pounced right back with a re-break. From that moment onwards, Murray got hold of the set and after the Czech dropped his serve once more, the Brit secured himself a semi-final ticket after 2 hours and 18 minutes of tennis.
Murray will play the winner of the match between Federer vs Cilic next.