Federer sees off Gasquet to reach Shanghai semis
Roger Federer joined Rafael Nadal in securing his place in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a straight-sets win over Richard Gasquet.
Earlier on Friday, Nadal battled to a three-set win over Grigor Dimitrov but there were few such problems for Federer, who improved his record over the Frenchman to 16-2 with a 7-5 6-4 success.
To reach the tantalising prospect of another final showdown with Nadal, Federer must overcome Juan Martin del Potro, who suffered a huge injury scare in his come-from-behind victory over Viktor Troicki.
During the deciding set, Del Potro fell when running backwards and injured his left wrist - which has required surgery in the past - but the Argentinian battled bravely on to prevail 4-6 6-1 6-4.
It remains to be seen whether the 16th seed will recover in time to face the 2014 champion, who showcased his customary cool in the big moments to oust Gasquet.
After failing to capitalise on a break point in game three, Federer found himself having to save one at 3-2, but did so with seemingly effortless ease thanks to two clean winners - one forehand, the other backhand - either side of an ace.
A pair of wild Gasquet forehands handed Federer a crucial break for 6-5, and a trademark whipped forehand and unstoppable cross-court backhand sealed the set for the second seed.
It looked as though the match may come to a swift conclusion when Federer broke to love to start the second, but Gasquet responded immediately.
There remained a lingering feeling the Frenchman was only delaying the inevitable, however, and so it proved as Federer turned the screw, wasting four break points before finally making one count and serving out in comfortable fashion.
He remains on track for a blockbuster meeting with Nadal, whose semi-final opponent is Marin Cilic, following the Croatian's 6-3 6-4 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas.