Nadal reaches Shanghai semi-finals with 15th straight win

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Rafael Nadal reached the world number one ranking in August for the first time since July 2014

World number one Rafael Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov to register his 15th consecutive win and reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

The Spaniard won 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes.

Nadal, who has never won the title in Shanghai, will face fourth seed Marin Cilic in the last four.

Briton Jamie Murray and Brazil’s Bruno Soares reached the doubles semi-finals with a 6-1 7-6 (8-6) victory over Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram.

The victory ensured that the pair, who have won two Grand Slams and six titles together, qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London next month.

Top seed Nadal is chasing a tour-leading seventh title this season, and beat Bulgaria’s Dimitrov for the second time in a week following his semi-final victory at the China Open.

The Spaniard, 31, breezed through the first set but was unable to break Dimitrov in the second, and the Bulgarian was strong in the tie-break to force a deciding set.

Dimitrov, ranked eighth in the world, had break point early in the third set, but Nadal saved it with a backhand volley before winning three consecutive games.

World number five Cilic secured his place in the semi-finals with a routine victory over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The Croat, who has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament, served 10 aces as he registered a 6-3 6-4 win.



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