Federer advances in China (image courtesy AFP)

Defending champion Roger Federer breezed through Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Friday to reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals.

The top seed will face 13th seed Borna Coric on Saturday after the Croatian edged unseeded Australian Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-4.

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The other semi-final tees up Novak Djokovic against young German star Alexander Zverev.