Nadal, Federer and del Potro in the quarter-finals in Shanghai

Nadal, Federer and del Potro in the quarter-finals in Shanghai

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.

Rafael Nadal stayed on the course for his first title in Shanghai after a hard-fought6-4 6-7 6-3 triumph over the 6th seed Grigor Dimitrov, notching his 15th win in a row and 10th in 11 matches against the Bulgarian (he beat him in Beijing last week as well, also in 3 sets).

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.

The tournament's top seed came into Friday's quarter-final contest without dropping a set in his two previous outings, but his spotless record was ended as he advanced to tee up a semi-final clash with Marin Cilic.

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World number five Cilic secured his place in the semi-finals with a routine victory over Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Marin Čilić of Croatia progressed with a 7-6, 6-4 win over American Steve Johnson.

The Croat did maintain his own ideal set record on Friday after beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-3, 6-4, and he'll be looking to add another Spanish conquest to his record when he faces Nadal in Shanghai on Saturday. I'm happy I was able to do better today on the break points.

World number nine Dimitrov had the first break-point opportunity in the second game, but Nadal denied the Bulgarian and the Mallorca native was punching the air after unleashing a blistering forehand victor to go a break up at 5-4.