Shanghai Masters: Nadal grinds out tough win over Dmitrov

The World No. 1 will face Marin Cilic in the semifinal. Cilic defeated Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinal on Friday.

Rafael Nadal returns to Grigor Dmitrov at the Shanghai Masters on Friday.   -  AFP

Rafael Nadal was forced to battle past Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov on Friday in three tough sets to reach the Shanghai Masters semifinals and a showdown with Marin Cilic.

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The World No. 1 just about beat his friend Dimitrov, the sixth seed, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 to stay on course for a possible glamour final with old rival Roger Federer.

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Earlier in the day, World No. 5 Cilic became the first man to reach the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters when he brushed aside Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The Croatian, bidding to reach the season-ending ATP Finals in London, grabbed the critical break in the sixth game of the first set on his way to a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4 victory over the unseeded Spaniard.

Federer beat Richard Gasquet in straight sets to enter semifinals.

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