October 12, 2017 / 1:09 PM / 2 months ago

Nadal crushes Fognini to reach Shanghai quarters

(Reuters) - Rafael Nadal continued to scythe his way through the Shanghai Masters on Thursday, reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-1 thrashing of temperamental Italian Fabio Fognini.

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Shanghai, China - October 12, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his win against Fabio Fognini of Italy. REUTERS/Aly Song

The Spaniard needed two minutes over the hour to dispatch Fognini, taking his winning streak to 14 matches since the start of the U.S. Open where he claimed a 16th grand slam title.

The 31-year-old is closing in on finishing the year as world number one for the first time since 2013.

Fognini was playing the day after being handed a suspended ban from two grand slams and $96,000 fine for verbally abusing a female umpire at the U.S. Open.

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Shanghai, China - October 12, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his win against Fabio Fognini of Italy. REUTERS/Aly Song

Roger Federer, who was up against tricky Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov later at the Qi Zhong Centre, is the only player who can stop Nadal sealing the year-end honour for a fourth time.

Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro won the match of the day by stopping third seed Alexander Zverev, recovering from losing the opener to win 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who saved match points on Wednesday against Ryan Harrison, had a more comfortable day as he beat American 10th seed Sam Querrey 6-3 7-6(3).

Dimitrov, closing in on a first appearance at the ATP World Tour Finals, plays Nadal next.

Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic also eased into the quarter-finals with a 7-6(1) 6-4 defeat of American Steve Johnson.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by John Stonestreet

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