Shanghai, Nov 16: Roger Federer's place in the semi-finals of the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup was decided before the world number one had hit a ball in anger here today.
Russian Nikolay Davydenko's 6-4 6-3 victory over Chilean Fernando Gonzalez was enough to send Federer through regardless of the result of his final Red Group match with Andy Roddick.
Federer, chasing a fourth title at the year-ending championships in the five editions, reached the last four as he was guaranteed to finish higher in the group than either Davydenko or Gonzalez.
The Swiss was stunned by Gonzalez in his opening match in Shanghai but stormed back to beat Davydenko to level his round-robin record at 1-1.
With Roddick's semi-final place already assured, the winner of their match later will face Spain's Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. The loser plays Gold Group winner David Ferrer.