Andy Murray is safely through to the Shanghai Masters semi-final after defeating a spirited Radek Stepanek in three sets to set up a clash with Roger Federer or Marin Cilic.

The lowest ranked player still in the competition, Stepanek started the better as he looked to put the US Open champion away early on.

A break for the Czech saw him take the first set 6-4, with the British No.1 on the rack, but quickly the tide turned.

Andy Murray
Murray won in three sets against a spirited Stepanek.

Murray used his dominance from the back of the court to wear down Stepanek and take the second set 6-2 as the world No.1 41 looked like his race was run.

But a break in the third game of the deciding third set looked like setting up a shock defeat for Murray, a victor in Shanghai in each of the last two years.

A break back in the very next game sparked a run of five of the next six games, to take the third set 6-3 to cruise into the last four.

He will face either Federer of Cilic, while in the other half of the draw Tomas Berdych will take on Novak Djokovic for a place in the final.

Elsewhere, British dominance in the Far-East continued at the Japan Open as Heather Watson reached the semi-final with a straight sets win over Pauline Parmentier.

A match which wavered from the sublime to the ridiculous, with 12 breaks of serve in all, saw Watson prevail 7-5 6-3 as her pursuit of the world's top 50 continues to build pace. The world No.1 will face home favourite Misaki Doe in the semi-final

However, Laura Robson couldn't replicate her counterpart's success, as she crashed out following a third set tie-break defeat against Chang Kai-Chen.

Having lost the first set, Robson, ranked 60 in the world following her runners-up spot at the Guangzhou final, stormed back into the match, taking the second set before forcing a third set tie-break.

But nerves got the better of the 18 year old, who succumbed 7-4 in the tie-break to crash out, with Cheng going on to the face No.1 seed Sam Stosur.

Meanwhile, British doubles pair Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming are through to the semi-final at the Shanghai Masters after defeating Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in three sets.