Nadal, Federer off to quarter-finals
Top two seeds need little time to dispatch opponents in Round of 16
SHANGHAI — Rafael Nadal won his 14th consecutive match to reach the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals, beating Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday.
Fognini occupied Nadal for 63 minutes, nine minutes longer than Nadal’s second-round match.
Roger Federer, seeded second to Nadal, also was not detained for long as he defeated Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-2.
“Of course it’s good news, and especially in this part of the season,” Nadal said. “It’s better like this than having long matches. You save a little bit more the body.
“It doesn’t matter how long you are on court, (the) most important thing is be enough competitive to (handle) all the situations.”
Nadal hadn’t won an ATP hardcourt title in more than three years until the U.S. Open last month, and now he’s gunning for his third in five weeks.
In the quarter-finals, Nadal will play sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who got past Sam Querrey of the U.S. 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Federer will play Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals.
Juan Martin del Potro advanced by overcoming third-seeded Alexander Zverev 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Del Potro required four match points to win this first encounter against the German.
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.
Zverev, in the hunt for a sixth ATP title of the season, lost his composure after netting a backhand to surrender his serve in the third set to the Argentine. He repeatedly smashed his racket until it was a mangled mess.
“For me, it’s impossible to lose a match when I’ve only been broken one time,” Zverev said. “The game where he broke me I was up 40-15 and I was just unfocused there.”
Del Potro knew Zverev’s reaction to losing serve was likely a good omen.
“I saw his frustration, for sure,” del Potro said. “He’s still very young and has to keep learning. He has everything to be in the top of the game.”
Del Potro will face John Isner of the U.S. or Viktor Troicki of Serbia.
Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal recorded a 6-3, 6-1 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament Thursday and will face Grigor Dimitrov next.