Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach semi-finals of Shanghai Masters

Fed's, Rafa's fight for No.1 heating up

SHANGHAI - Rafael Nadal will play Marin Cilic in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters Saturday after the world number one was forced to fight past Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3.

Dimitrov, the World No. 9, was an obvious underdog against the in-form Nadal, but did manage to come away with something to remember.

The top-seeded Nadal recorded a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Italy's Fabio Fognini, while the second-seeded Federer registered a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Still, it's moments like these that make tennis shine, and the skill involved means it will forever remain on the highlight reel of Dimitrov's career.

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In the third set, Nadal saved the one break point he faced in the match in the fifth game, and broke serve in the sixth to set up victory.

Frustratingly for the Bulgarian, both times he has fallen to Nadal in a three-set match.

Sixth seed Dimitrov frequently had the final say during pulsating rallies, most impressively during the final set when he kept a point alive before winning it close to the net.

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Federer next faces Richard Gasquet, who outlasted fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3.

The Croatian fourth seed Cilic - who has defeated Nadal only once in five matches - beat unseeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4.

In the quarterfinals, Nadal will play sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who got past Sam Querrey of the USA 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Del Potro, who lost his serve for the only time in the match in the second game, won nine of his 15 service games at love.

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The German prodigy and the 29-year-old, whose career has been beset by injury, went toe to toe in the second set and the tie break was just as tight until Del Potro grabbed the crucial mini-break.

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