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Rafael Nadal Overcomes Defiant Grigor Dimitrov To Reach Shanghai Semi-Finals

Nadal, riding on the crest of a wave after following up his US Open triumph by claiming the China Open title last weekend, will face Marin Cilic in the last four.

World number one Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak to 15 matches by beating a defiant Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Nadal, riding on the crest of a wave after following up his US Open triumph by claiming the China Open title last weekend, will face Marin Cilic in the last four following a 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 defeat of Dimitrov.

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.

Dimitrov hit 42 winners to 32 from Nadal, but the sixth seed was unable to prevent a 10th defeat to Nadal in 11 meetings between the two after he was unable to break the favourite's reliable serve in an entertaining quarter-final.

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 winner to go a break up at 5-4.

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.

Both players gave little away behind their powerful serves and a tie-break always looked to be on the cards. Dimitrov was on the ropes at 3-0 down in the breaker, but reeled off five points in a row as Nadal was pegged back after twice drilling forehands into the net under pressure.

Dimitrov raced in to unleash a backhand winner for a break point in the fourth game of the final set, but Nadal thwarted him again and claimed the decisive break to lead 4-2 before sealing yet another win.


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