Serbia's Novak Djokovic rallied for a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4 win Friday over Frenchman Gael Monfils to advance to the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters.

Djokovic needed two hours and 22 minutes to win the grueling contest, in which Monfils struggled with an abdominal injury and received a time violation after taking too long to recover from one tough point.

The world No. 2 won a surprisingly low 35 percent of his second-serve points in the first set, which was decided in a tiebreaker after four total breaks of serve.

But the Serbian righted the ship in the second set, completely dominating his own service games and winning over half of the Frenchman's serve points.

The third set was more closely contested, but Djokovic got the critical service break in the seventh game and served out the match three games later to run his head-to-head record against Monfils to 9-0.

Next up for Djokovic in Saturday's semifinals will be another Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who routed Germany's Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3.

Djokovic has defeated Tsonga in 10 of their 15 career matches and has won the last eight since a defeat in the 2010 Australian Open quarterfinals.

In other quarterfinal action Friday, Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Spain's Nicolas Almagro and will next face the winner of the night match pitting world No. 1 Rafael Nadal against Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

The Shanghai Masters is one of the biggest hard-court events on the ATP World Tour calendar and the season's top tournament played in Asia. EFE