Nadal sets up Cilic semi-final in Shanghai
Shanghai Oct 13 (IANS) Top seed Rafael Nadal kept his hopes for the tennis season s seventh title alive here in the ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters defeating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in a high-quality 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 game on Friday to set up a semi-final clash against Croatian Marin Cilic .
With this second victory over Dimitrov in as many weeks the Spaniard also extended his winning streak to 15 matches since his third-time US Open success reports Xinhua news agency.
"It was a very tough match. I think both of us we played at a very high level of tennis. The conditions of course have been different today than the two previous matches " the Spaniard said after the match.
"It was the first match for me outdoors so is a different story but at the same time I enjoyed. I think it was a great battle between two players who are playing all the time very focused."
The second set was a close one as both players held all of their six serves and had to fight in the tie-break. It was the sixth seed Dimitrov who produced a better performance powering to win 5 consecutive points at 4-2 to close the tie-break 7-4 and levelled the set-score.
"It s true that at the end of the second that tie-break I made a couple of mistakes with the forehand. I made bad decision going for the forehand in the 4-2 of the tie-break. I should hit that ball with the backhand but I decided to go with the forehand before he hit the ball. And then two good serves for him 5-4 " the 31-year-old world no.1 Nadal said.
But Nadal striving for his maiden title in Shanghai regained his form in the deciding set broke the Bulgarian s service in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and eventually closed the two-hour and 32 minute battle with a 6-3 decider win.
Earlier in the afternoon fourth seed Cilic knocked out Albert Ramos-Vinolas with a straightforward 6-3 6-4 victory.
Swiss superstar Roger Federer will play against Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the Qizhong Stadium later on Friday to fight for another spot in the semi-finals.