Published: Sun, October 15, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Shanghai Masters: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal one match away from final showdown

Shanghai Masters: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal one match away from final showdown

World number one Rafael Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov to register his 15th consecutive win and reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

As on so many occasions before the old rivals put on a stunning display in China, but it was Federer who just had the edge as he recorded a 6-4 6-3 victory, his 700th hard-court success.

The Spaniard was dominant as he forced Cilic to save six break points in his first two service games.

He didn't face one break point and was simply unstoppable.

Nadal and Federer have shared many of 2017's honours, including all four Majors, and before the US Open, they were both in contention for the No1 ranking. A double fault gave Cilic another bite of the cherry, but again, Nadal thumped his swinging leftie serve wide to Cilic's backhand wing and held the eight-minute game, 5-5.

The pair met earlier this year in Acapulco with Nadal defeating Cilic in a brilliant performance which saw the Spaniard only drop three games total.

Federer will play Nadal in the Shanghai final on Sunday (October 15) with this likely being the Basel native's last chance to stake a claim for the year-end world number one spot.

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Will Nadal come out on top?

Still Cilic was not done, and unleashed his best forehands of the match to break for 5-5: It would go to a tie-break. For if there was a question mark over the outcome, fans needed only to look at Federer's last main-tour match, the quarter-finals of the US Open.

'Especially me today I was hitting unbelievable shots off the ground, and against other guys that would be the winners, or just with serving, serving well, that would be either ace or victor, and he makes you play another shot, another shot. But he showed no ill effects in stunning the pro-Federer crowd to break for 4-2 in the first set.

"I hope for him (del Potro) that it's nothing serious", Federer said.

There is more than just the title at stake in Shanghai though. Both players have held an identical figure, 89.9%, on the surface in that time period.

No.1 seed Nadal can claim a 31st ATP Masters 1000 title if he wins against Federer, who came from behind toe beat Del Potro, which would break a record he now shares with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Federer added: "I am actually surprised that I have won here - with all that has happened since Montreal with my back - it is just nice to see that I am back again".

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