Nadal wastes no time ad­vanc­ing in China

The Southland Times - - SPORT - SAN­DRA HE­WITT

Rafael Nadal won his 14th con­sec­u­tive match to reach the Shang­hai Masters quar­ter­fi­nals, beat­ing Fabio Fognini, of Italy, 6-3 6-1 yes­ter­day.

Fognini oc­cu­pied Nadal for 63 min­utes, nine min­utes longer 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 US Open last month, and now he’s gunning for his third in five weeks.

Nadal saved both break points he faced in the round-of-16 match, in the fourth game of the sec­ond set.

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

Fed­erer will play Richard Gas­quet in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Juan Martin del Potro ad­vanced by over­com­ing third­seeded Alexan­der Zverev 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-4.

Del Potro re­quired four match points – two on Zverev’s serve in the ninth game, two on his own serve in the 10th game – 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 fifth game of 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.’’

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic will face Al­bert Ramos-Vi­no­las, of Spain, in the lasty eight. - AP


Rafael Nadal, of Spain, cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the men’s sin­gles third round match against Ital­ian Fabio Fognini at the Shang­hai Masters.

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