SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon moved into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday after ousting sixth seed Tomas Berdych in three sets, leaving the Czech sweating about a place at the ATP World Tour finals.
Simon, ranked 29th in the world, earned a 7-6(4) 4-6 6-0 win after a two-and-a-half hour slugfest to set up a last four meeting with Spain's Feliciano Lopez.
The tall left handed Spaniard, who knocked out compatriot Rafa Nadal in the second round, fought back from a set and a break of serve down to beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 5-7 6-4 6-4.
Lopez, who also made the semi-finals of the Toronto Masters in August, lost his serve on a double fault leading 5-3 in the third but regained his composure to break straight back and prevail in just over two hours.
Simon has made the final of a Masters series event just once, in 2008, but will be confident he can repeat that feat after taking down Berdych, who was in good form after reaching the final in Beijing last week.
The win was Simon's second big upset of the tournament following his second round victory over Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka.
Berdych is currently seventh in the ATP Race To London standings, with five singles spots left up for grabs at next month's season-ending event.
The Czech will compete in next week's Stockholm Open to try to book a spot in the eight-man field for London.
World number one Novak Djokovic plays another London hopeful in Spain's David Ferrer later on Friday in the third Shanghai quarter-final, while Swiss Roger Federer takes on Julien Benneteau of France in the final match of the day.
THE RACE TO LONDON:
1 Novak Djokovic 8650-qualified
2 Roger Federer 7020-qualified
3 Rafa Nadal 6735-qualified
4 Stan Wawrinka 4795
5 Kei Nishikori 4255
6 Marin Cilic 3980
7 Tomas Berdych 3765
8 Milos Raonic 3740
- - - - - - - - - - - -
9 Andy Murray 3565
10 David Ferrer 3535
11 Grigor Dimitrov 3405
12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2650
13 Ernests Gulbis 2445
* Points as of Oct. 6.
(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford)