Rafael Nadal will play Marin Cilic in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Saturday after the world number one was forced to fight past Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3. 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 got the mini-break for a 3-0 lead in the tie break, but sixth seed Dimitrov scrapped back to level, and then stunned the Spaniard to clinch the tie break.
The top seed needed three sets to beat Dimitrov at the semi-final stage in Beijing last week and it was a similar story as he matched Andre Agassi's tally of 870 career wins to go joint-sixth on the Open Era list.
The tournament's fourth seed did see his flawless serving record broken by Ramos-Vinolas, who broke Cilic for the first time in this year's Shanghai Masters during the second set, although it only delayed his advance into the final four.
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The Croat, who has yet to drop a set in this year's tournament, served 10 aces as he registered a 6-3 6-4 win.
Cilic was broken for the first time in his 29th service game of the week at 3-3 in the second set by Ramos-Vinolas. The fourth-seeded Croatian improved to 39-16 on the year after he defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-4 in 81 minutes on Friday. I'm happy I was able to do better today on the break points.
The Swiss great, eyeing a second Shanghai Masters title, broke in the first game of the match and twice in the second set to march into the last eight.