Roger Federer was given a point penalty as he followed Novak Djokovic out of the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals in a bad-tempered defeat to Alexander Zverev on Friday.
The 22-year-old German won 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3 as the Swiss legend Federer was penalised after twice hitting the ball out the court in anger.
The sixth-ranked Zverev faces Austria’s Dominic Thiem or Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the semifinals on Saturday.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer saved five match points to force a deciding set, but he then became engaged in a continual war of words with the umpire.
The 38-year-old’s trademark cool evaded him as the new generation of men’s tennis stars took centre stage in Shanghai. His point deduction came at 3-0 and 30-15 down in the third set, as he threatened to unravel.
Stefanos Tsitsipas said that he scares the “Big Three” after the young Greek stunned world number one Djokovic in their quarterfinal.
The 21-year-old has now defeated Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal this year to burnish his fast-growing reputation. On Saturday though he faces the red-hot 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev — who he has never beaten.
Tsitsipas recovered from losing the opening three games in just seven minutes to shock the reigning champion Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
But rather than being intimidated by them, Tsitsipas said: “I honestly feel like they are more threatened than I am and that makes me more relaxed on court.”
“I know I just have to hang in there and be able to be more aggressive.”
It was a double celebration for Tsitsipas, who also confirmed his place in the prestigious season-ending ATP Finals.
Djokovic, who had looked imperious up until now, had no complaints. “He deserved the victory, he was the better player,” said the 32-year-old Serbian.
Djokovic had carried that ominous form into Shanghai and threatened to blow Tsitsipas away in the first set.
But Tsitsipas found his feet in the second set, then went 3-1 up in the decider when Djokovic planted a forehand wide on the third break point.
Tsitsipas grabbed his place at the ATP Finals after fourth-ranked Medvedev tamed self-styled “wild horse” Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
Gauff in semis
American teenager Coco Gauff advanced to the first WTA semifinal of her career on Friday with a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 defeat of top seed Kiki Bertens at Linz.
The 15-year-old became the youngest woman to reach a semifinal at this level since Nicole Vaidisova won the Tashkent title in 2004. Gauff plays Andrea Petkovic on Saturday for a place in the final.