Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Nadal books Cilic semi-final clash in Shanghai

JuanMartindelPotro- Cropped Getty Images
Lucia Summers | 13 October, 2017, 13:41

Shanghai: World number one Rafael Nadal continued his rich vein of form as he swept aside Fabio Fognini of Italy in straight sets to storm into quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters here on Thursday.

Cilic on the other hand advanced to the semi-finals without dropping a set.

Nadal has preserved two balls break during his game of knockout, in the fourth game of the second set.

Second seed Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro will be the favourites for their respective quarter-finals later on Friday as they prepare to face Richard Gasquet and Viktor Troicki in the last eight, respectively.

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Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who saved match points on Wednesday against Ryan Harrison, had a more comfortable day as he beat American 10th seed Sam Querrey 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Dimitrov was on the ropes at 3-0 down in the breaker, but reeled off five points in a row as Nadal was pegged back after twice drilling forehands into the net under pressure.

Ramos-Vinolas lost his serve in game 6 to trail 4-2 and that was all Marin needed to close the set, losing just one point in his last 2 service games and delivering a set by 6-3 in 38 minutes.

The two friends headed into a deciding set with Dimitrov in the ascendancy and the pro-Nadal crowd fearing an upset. World number 5 Marin Cilic won his 39th match of the season, beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas by 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes for his 7th semi-final of the season.

Nadal leads Cilic 4-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including victories in their past four meetings.

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