Andy Murray will play either Gilles Simon or Jack Sock for a place in the final of the 2016 Shanghai Masters. The British number one continued his superb recent form with an impressive straight-sets defeat of David Goffin at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena on Friday afternoon (14 October).
Having won the 40th singles title of his career against Grigor Dimitrov at the China Open in Beijing last weekend, Murray has met with preciously little resistance in Shanghai during simple victories over Steve Johnson and Lucas Pouille.
The quarter-final tie against Goffin followed a similar script, although the world number 12 initially showed battling spirit to fend off a first break point. However, a regrettable double fault gave Murray a crucial advantage and the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champion then staved off three break points on his own serve before going on to comfortably take the first set.
The second game of set number two proved to be a lengthy 15-minute affair, with Goffin, who lost to Murray in both doubles and singles action during last year's Davis Cup final in Ghent, somehow managing to save six break points. Murray then battled to keep proceedings on serve until breaking again to set up a predictable finale.
Serving to stay in the match, Goffin was unable to spark an unlikely comeback and Murray wrapped up his 6-2, 6-2 triumph in a time of one hour and 35 minutes. It was his fifth consecutive singles win over the Belgian, dating back to their first meeting at the All-England Club in 2014.
"I thought it was a very good match," Murray told Sky Sports afterwards. "Obviously ot had many long games on his serve, which could have gone either way, and he had quite a few chances on my serve. In the second set, he had love-30 at 4-2, he had 15-30 at 2-2, and two in the first set as well.
"It was a tough match for two-and-two. It was a pretty long one for that scoreline. I struck the ball really well. I created a lot of chances on my return game and I felt like I was controlling a lot of the rallies on my forehand."
Earlier in Shanghai, out-of-sorts top seed Novak Djokovic fought back to avoid a sizeable upset against confident qualifier Mischa Zverev. The 12-time Grand Slam winner, who remains 1,555 points ahead of Murray in the ATP Race to London, dropped an error-strewn opening set but won the second on a tiebreak before sealing a rather unconvincing 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory. He will meet Roberto Bautista Agut next following the Spaniard's defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.