Rafael Nadal battles past Grigor Dimitrov to reach Shanghai Masters semi-finals

Ruben Hill
October 13, 2017

The match lasted 2 hours and 32 minutes and it was one of the best we saw this week, with a lot of nice points on both sides and more winners than errors from each player.

Nadal required just one break of serve to claim the opening set, but Dimitrov showed resistance throughout the contest and deserved to take the left-hander to a tie-break in the second.

Top seed Nadal is chasing a tour-leading seventh title this season, and beat Bulgaria's Dimitrov for the second time in a week following his semi-final victory at the China Open.

While a Nadal-Federer final looms, Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro could ruin the script, as he did at the U.S. Open where he defeated Federer in the quarter-finals when a semi-final between the two greats looked likely.

Nadal served out the set and had a chance to gain the upper hand in the second, but Dimitrov saved a break point before taking a 3-2 lead and the pumped-up sixth seed clenched his fist upon winning his next service game.

Earlier in the day, World No. 5 Cilic became the first man to reach the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters when he brushed aside Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

This was their 6th meeting and the 4th win for Marin, who is yet to drop a set this week in Shanghai.

Dimitrov began his bid to upset Nadal in confident fashion, and it wasn't until after he had saved three break points at four games apiece that he finally conceded serve and his opponent launched a forehand victor down the line.

Cilic balanced out that stutter by breaking Ramos-Vinolas either side of that lost game to book a 6-3, 6-4 triumph, and thus topped his previous best finish in Shanghai, when he made it to the quarters in 2012.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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