Shanghai Masters: Nadal grinds out tough win over Dmitrov

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina celebrates after defeating Alexander Zverev of Germany in their men's singles match of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai China Thursday Oct. 12 2017

World number one Rafael Nadal reaches the Shanghai Masters semi-finals with a three-set victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

Dimitrov raced in to unleash a backhand victor 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.

Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who saved match points on Wednesday against Ryan Harrison, had a more comfortable day as he beat American 10th seed Sam Querrey 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

The 19-time Grand Slam champion will now cross swords with Richard Gasquet of France for a place in the semi-finals.

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In the game immediately after that close call, Nadal dampened Dimitrov's spirits further with a break of his own to lead 5-2 and serve out the set, although the latter played fiercely in his attempt to upset the favourite.

Dimitrov managed to stay with his opponent before taking it 7-4, but despite the Bulgarian having the momentum ahead of the third, Nadal was soon able to wrestle back the initiative.

The Spaniard's victory march was only momentarily held up when a disturbance broke out in the crowd and the players were forced to wait as a small group of spectators was escorted out of the arena. 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.

"My team has worked really well in all parts of my game just to bring it up to the nice level that I can keep it up throughout every single week", he said. "I'm winning quite a lot of service games and a lot of matches".

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