Nadal runs unbeaten streak to 15

Shanghai, Rafael Nadal lost his first set of the week in a struggle with Grigor Dimitrov before breaking away for a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 win into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday.

Main rival Roger Federer also advanced, defeating Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-4 to move to within one weekend victory of a blue-riband final between the top two players on the ATP.

World number one Nadal did his part to keep alive the dream showdown possibility alive before Federer beat Gasquet for the 16th time in 18 matches.

Nadal stopped London finals candidate Dimitrov with six aces and a pair of service breaks to extend his win streak to 15 matches. The win was his 10th over the Bulgarian and second in as many weeks after victory in Beijing.

The success pulls him level with Andre Agassi for sixth place on the Open era career wins list with 870.

Federer sent over a modest five aces as he dispatched Gasquet for the 10th time on a hardcourt, taking just over an hour and a quarter.

The Frenchman has now lost eight matches in a row to Federer since last winning in 2011, while the Swiss won his seventh quarter-final of the season.

“I thought it was a really good match. Some big points, important shots at the right time for both guys sometimes to stay even, and we both created chances,” Federer said.

“We were able to keep up the level from the beginning till the very end. Even the roof was open today. Conditions felt a bit cooler and a bit slower maybe, and that allowed us to maybe hit bigger.

“But I enjoyed it because it was slices and topspins and angles and power and finesse. I think the match had a bit of everything.”

Federer next plays 16th seed Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine struggled to get past Viktor Troicki 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, possibly hurting one of his fragile wrists during a mid-match fall.

“After I fell, I put out my wrist and I felt something wrong in that moment, but I continued to play, just playing slices just to try to finish the match,” the South American said.

“Now is time to see what the MRI and the studies say and also what the doctor says. I’m a little worried, but I know to deal with all of these things,” said the victim of multiple wrist surgeries.

“I will see what the doctors say now, and then we will take a decision for tomorrow. Of course I would like to play. I would like to be 100 per cent – but we will see in a moment what’s happening.”

Federer is also hoping for the best: “I hope it’s nothing serious. Of course it’s on the wrist, where he’s had problems in the past.

“This is where he’s worried, rightfully so. For me, nothing changes. I’m ready to come out here tomorrow and see the match like it’s a revenge chance for the US Open (quarter-finals, in September), where it was tight and I couldn’t win.

“But I hope for now that Juan Martin can recover and we can play a normal match tomorrow.”

Nadal, who didn’t lose serve in his two-and-a-half-hour win, will face fourth seed Marin Cilic in the semi-finals after the Croatian beat Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-3, 6-4.

Source: Ghana News Agency


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