Nadal win proves a bonus for Schwartzman

Reuters

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The 20-time grand slam champion claimed a 4-6 7-5 6-1 victory, ending his fellow Spaniard's hopes of qualifying for the season-ending tournament in London.

Nadal will play either Alexander Zverev or Stan Wawrinka for a place in Monday's (AEDT) final as he bids to win the trophy for the first time.

"The thing that really matters to me, I need to return better," Nadal said.

"My serve is working well, I think, so the rest of the game more or less I am playing better and better.

"I need to return better if I want to have chances to keep going."

Schwartzman had his fate taken out of his own hands earlier on Saturday (AEDT) with a quarter-final thrashing by Daniil Medvedev, who will face Milos Raonic in the other semi-final.

No.1 seed Nadal, playing his first event since winning a record-extending French Open title across Paris at Roland Garros last month, can equal Novak Djokovic's record of 36 Masters titles with success this week.

The 34-year-old's best effort at Bercy Arena was a 2007 final loss to David Nalbandian.

The world No.2 was in trouble when facing three break points in the opening game of the second set, but he saved them all before forcing a decider in the 12th game with a brilliant forehand winner.

He capped a dominant third-set display by reeling off five successive games.


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