Shanghai Masters: At last, a 5-star win for Rafael Nadal
Shanghai: Rafael Nadal ended a 17-month wait for a top-five victory by thrashing Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters yesterday.
Not since he beat David Ferrer in the quarter-finals of the French Open last year had Nadal defeated one of the leading quintet.
Rafael Nadal .
Wawrinka appeared tired after a three-hour tussle against Marin Cilic, but Nadal was nevertheless very impressive in defeating the fourth seed 6-2 6-1. “Being in the semi-finals is a great result for me,” said Nadal. “I hadn’t played the semi-finals on hard court all year and now I am playing two weeks in a row in the final rounds. That’s a big improvement for me.
“In terms of confidence, in terms of level of tennis, I am playing better. I’m very happy for that because I am working so hard.” In the last four Nadal will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who battled past in-form Kevin Anderson 7-6 (8/6) 5-7 6-4.
Stern test for Djoko
Novak Djokovic was given his sternest test of the week by Bernard Tomic but still came through in straight sets, winning 7-6 (8/6) 6-1.
The World No 1 was immediately broken back after forging ahead in the opening set and Tomic saved two set points in the tie-break. But Djokovic made no mistake on his third opportunity and raced through the second set.
Third seed Andy Murray produced a devastating display to rout Tomas Berdych and set up a semi-final clash with Djokovic. Berdych had given Murray a lot of trouble in the past and had won six of their previous 12 meetings. But the Czech was left bewildered by the brilliance of Murray as the World No 2 triumphed 6-1, 6-3.
Murray told Sky Sports 3: “I felt like I dictated all match and, against someone who hits the ball as big as Tomas, that’s not always easy to do. In the second set I felt could have won all of the games.
“I’m very happy with the performance and it’s good to conserve some energy before tomorrow.”