Shanghai Masters: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach semi-finals

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina celebrates after defeating Alexander Zverev of Germany in their men's singles match of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai China Thursday Oct. 12 2017

Rafael Nadal progressed into the semi-finals of the 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters on Friday after besting Grigor Dimitrov in their quarter-final matchup, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

The 31-year-old secured an immediate break in the second set to leave his Italian opponent with a mountain to climb, and two further breaks followed as Nadal wrapped up the match after one hour and two minutes on court. Albert had to dig deep in the third game of the second set, saving 4 break points, but he couldn't do the same next time around, as Cilic broke him in game 5, converting his 7th break point since the start of the match.

The two friends headed into a deciding set with Dimitrov in the ascendancy and the pro-Nadal crowd fearing an upset.

Nadal will now lock horns with sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the semi-finals of the men's singles event.

Federer will face the French Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals.

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

The Croatian, bidding to reach the season-ending ATP Finals in London, grabbed the critical break in the sixth game of the first set on his way to a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4 victory over the unseeded Spaniard.

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.

"I got to understand also all the things that we were working on".

"It's better like this than having long matches, you save, a little bit more, the body", Nadal said.

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