Tennis

Nadal and Federer on collision course in Shanghai

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer breezed into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters last night, setting the stage for another mouth-watering meeting this year.

World No. 1 Nadal blew away Fabio Fognini in 63 minutes and plays sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov today as he pursues one of the few tournaments to have eluded him.

Timeless rival Federer was even faster, dismissing Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-2 in 61 minutes.

Nadal, fresh off the back of triumphs at the US Open and China Open, anticipates a tough encounter against Bulgarian Dimitrov.

Said the 31-year-old Spaniard: "I played a very good match, I don't know how many mistakes I made, but very few.

"I have a tough match against Grigor and know I will have to play my best... but I am playing well."

Nadal, enjoying a late-career flourish, defeated good friend Dimitrov on his way to winning the China Open last Sunday, his sixth title of the season.

And the top seed underlined his status as the man to beat in Shanghai as he battered Italian Fognini 6-3, 6-1.

Dimitrov, chasing a spot at the season-ending ATP Finals in London, beat American Sam Querrey 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to set up a Chinese reunion with Nadal.

The winner will then meet either Marin Cilic or Albert Ramos in the semi-finals.

Federer, the world No. 2, plays Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the last eight today. Gasquet had defeated compatriot Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.

A mouth-watering Nadal-Federer final awaits on Sunday if the celebrated pair continue at the current rate.

Federer and Nadal played out a thrilling five-setter at the Australian Open final in January, with the 35-year-old Swiss emerging victorious to be the older Major winner in 45 years.

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro defeated racket-smashing Alexander Zverev 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to set up a last-eight meeting with Victor Troicki, who beat John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) last night. - WIRE SERVICES

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