Rafael Nadal beats Fabio Fognini to set up quarter final against Grigor Dimitrov in Shanghai
Rafael Nadal beat Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-1 to set up a quarter final match against Grigor Dimitrov at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Nadal got an early break to open up a 3-0 lead in the opening set and raced out to a 4-1 lead after 17 minutes. He fired an ace to hold his serve in the seventh game to open up a 5-2 lead. Fognini hit a running backhand winner and an ace to hold at love in the 8th game. Nadal hit a forehand winner to earn three set points and closed out the first set after 31 minutes.
The Spanish star earned an early break to 30 at the start of the second set and consolidated with a hold of serve in the second game for 2-0. Fognini earned two break points at 1-3 but Nadal saved them with a serve and volley winner on the second break point. Nadal never looked back and broke twice more in the fifth and seventh games to wrap up the match in 62 minutes to score his 14th consecutive win. Nadal has improved his win-loss record to 10-3 in his 13 head-to-head matches against Fognini.
Nadal converted four of the five break points and saved Fognini’s two break points. He served 78 percent, hit 14 winners to just four unforced errors.
“I played a very good match. I don’t know how many unforced errors, but very few. I played very well in all aspects. Serving well, hitting well the ball in difficult positions, hitting the ball good when I was trying to have to control the point from the baseline, going to the net often and with good success. Slice backhand is working well. In general aspects, I have been doing the things very well. So otherwise, 6-3 6-1 was a big result against a player like him. Being in the quarter final is great news. During my career I had some tough injuries. This year for the moment things are going well. You never know what’s going on, but of course I am able to play the schedule that I wanted to play until today”, said Nadal.
Nadal is bidding to win the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the first time in his career and become the third player since 2012 after Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to clinch the Beijing-Shanghai double after winning the ATP 500 tournament in the Chinese capital. In seven appearances in the Shanghai tournament Nadal has reached the final only once losing to Nikolay Davydenko in 2009.
“Shanghai is just another Masters 1000 that I gonna fight for to be ready to compete the best way possible. Let’s see if I am able to make that happen”, said Nadal.
Nadal has won nine of his ten head-to-head matches against his quarter final rival Grigor Dimitrov, including his 6-3 4-6 6-1 win in the Beijing semifinal last week.
This year’s Wimbledon champion Marin Cilic beat Steve Johnson 7-6 (7-1) 6-4. The first set came down to the tie-break where Cilic raced to a 5-0 lead. After dropping the next point, Cilic won two consecutive points to wrap up the first set.
Cilic broke in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and held his next service games to close out the match. The Croatian star hit 12 aces and won 86 percent of his first serve points. Cilic set up a qiarter final against Albert Ramos who beat German Jan.Lennard Struff.