Shanghai SF preview and pick: Lopez vs. Simon

The Grandstand

FeliNovak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer will steal the headlines on Saturday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, but don’t sleep on the other semifinal. This one between Feliciano Lopez and Gilles Simon should be similarly entertaining.

Lopez cannot be considered a specialist on one specific surface at one specific tournament, but Shanghai is unquestionably his best. The 33-year-old Spaniard has now reached four Masters 1000 semifinals in his career and a whopping three have come at this tournament. Lopez’s latest run has come courtesy of wins over Thanasi Kokkinakis, Rafael Nadal, John Isner, and Mikhail Youzhny. The world No. 21 will reach a career-high ranking of no worse than 14th on Monday.

Up next for Lopez is Simon, against whom he is 2-1 lifetime. Their only two meetings since 2008 came in a four-day span last summer, when Lopez prevailed 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 6-0 in the Eastbourne final and 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(11)…

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