Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Nadal crushes Fognini to reach Shanghai quarters

Reuters

Rafael Nadal yesterday continued to scythe his way through the Shanghai Rolex Masters, reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-1 thrashing of temperamental Italian Fabio Fognini.

The Spaniard needed 62 minutes to dispatch Fognini, taking his winning streak to 14 matches since the start of the US Open, where he claimed a 16th Grand Slam title.

The 31-year-old is closing in on finishing the year as world No. 1 for the first time since 2013.

Fognini was playing the day after being handed a suspended ban from two Grand Slams and US$96,000 fine for verbally abusing a female umpire at the US Open.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina won the match of the day by stopping third seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, recovering from losing the opener to win 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

“I don’t understand how I can lose a match where I get broken one time in three sets and not manage to get any chances on his serve,” Zverev said.

“I’m a bit pissed off, because I feel like I played well and that’s the upsetting part of it — I could have done great in this tournament,” he added.

Bulgarian 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).

Dimitrov, closing in on a first appearance at the ATP Finals, is to play Nadal next.

Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic of Croatia also eased into the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 victory over American Steve Johnson.

In the late match, Roger Federer avoided a potential banana peel in outclassing Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the quarter-finals.

The Swiss legend looked rusty in his opener on Wednesday, but was closer to his fluent best as he swatted away Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-2 in a swift 61 minutes on court.

Second-seeded 36-year-old Federer is next to play either Gilles Simon or Richard Gasquet.

Additional reporting by AFP

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