Novak Djokovic came back from a poor start to his game against Mischa Zverev to win 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 and reach the Shanghai Masters semifinals.
The Serb was slow and lacking accuracy in the early stages with his groundstrokes. The top ranked star made 14 unforced errors to Zverev’s four.
The defending champion came alive in the second set, but Zverev’s serve-and-volley style kept pushing him to make more errors.
Djokovic didn’t start to take control until the tiebreaker, which he won handily. He then got an early break in the third set and held on.
“I wasn’t striking the ball very well from the beginning of the match, to be honest,” Djokovic said. “I was quite flat with my feet, so he got me where he wanted to get me, and to stand still at the baseline.
“He was fighting. He was focused. He gave his best, and he was a few points from winning.”
Djokovic, a three-time winner in Shanghai, next plays Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals. Bautista Agut defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, last year’s runner-up, 6-3, 6-4.
Second-seeded Andy Murray was playing David Goffin in another quarterfinal later Friday, while Jack Sock was taking on Gilles Simon.