Shanghai Masters: Nadal grinds out tough win over Dmitrov

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer breezed into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Thursday and Juan Martin del Potro defeated racquet-smashing Alexander Zverev.

Federer, the Swiss world number two, plays Richard Gasquet in the last eight on Friday after Gasquet outlasted fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon in a marathon three-setter.

"I'm glad to reach the semi-finals in this tournament, but to be honest now, as I say always, health is the first of all of my life", Del Potro said.

"I like playing Gasquet on fast courts", Federer said afterward.

The victory ensured that the pair, who have won two Grand Slams and six titles together, qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London next month.

Fourth seed Cilic has reached the last four without dropping a set and overcame Nadal's countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-4, although the Spaniard did managed to break Cilic's serve for the first time in the competition at 3-3 in the second set.

"A lot of matches in a row winning and very happy with everything, let's see what happens tomorrow, but being able to win in Beijing and now semifinals here. tough events against tough players".

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But the Bulgarian, who sent down 13 aces in the match, took the fight to the Spaniard in the second set, coming from 3-0 down in a tie-break to level.

World No.1 Nadal downed Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-1 while second ranked Federer downed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-2. "The game where he broke me, I was up 40-15, and I was just unfocused there".

"Dimitrov has got inside Nadal's head".

Dimitrov sensed another opportunity in the fifth game of the third set, but Nadal survived the break point.

A relieved Nadal looked up to the heavens and raised his arms at the end.

There was a scare when the 29-year-old, who has suffered years of wrist injuries that have threatened his career, took a nasty tumble at 2-2 in the deciding set against unseeded Troicki.

The Argentinian needed several minutes of medical attention while he sat on a chair on the back of the court, visibly wincing in pain.


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