It was Friday the 13th, but not to worry as there was no bad luck for the highest seeded players at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
As always happens at every tournament around the globe, the Shanghai Rolex Masters has reached the time of the tournament where the draw has thinned out and this year’s stars for the title are looking at the end game at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Yes, that’s right, it’s the semifinal showdown ahead and as is always the case, the best competitors of the week have landed in the final four. This year, the semifinalists are No.1 Rafael Nadal, second seed Roger Federer, fourth seed Marin Cilic and 16th seed Juan Martin del Potro.
In the top half of the draw it will be the super-hot, world No.1 Nadal and fourth seed Marin Cilic hoping to advance to the final. Nadal is in spectacular form of late, so it’s likely the Spaniard will be a tough ask for any opponent.
Following his 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 quarterfinal win over sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, Nadal increased his current winning streak to 15 matches and counting. He arrived in Shanghai having won his 75th career title the week before.
The year has been special for the 31-year-old Nadal, who added two more titles to his collection of Grand Slam trophies, which now tops out at a healthy 16. He captured a record 10th Roland Garros trophy and then captured his third career U.S. Open title last month.
Unfortunately for Dimitrov, he took to the court without luck on his side. He’s now played Nadal 12 times and has only came out with a win once, in last year’s Beijing quarterfinal. This was the second consecutive week Nadal’s beaten Dimitrov – they also played in the Beijing semifinal last week.
Cilic earned his spot in the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over unseeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain. The Croatian, whose best previous best result in Shanghai was reaching the 2012 quarterfinals, had his serve broken for the first time this week, in the sixth game of the second set.
Roger Federer continued his quest for a second Shanghai Rolex Masters title by defeating Richard Gasquet of France 7-5, 6-4.
It is likely that Federer went into the match with a great deal of confidence from their past playing history. They’ve now met 18 times and the Swiss sensation has won 16 of the meetings.
Del Potro managed to keep his perfect record against Viktor Troicki of Serbia unscathed as he captured a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 quarterfinal victory to take a 7-0 winning record in their outings. As it stands, del Potro’s now won 15 of 18 sets he’s played against Troicki.
There was a bit of a tense moment in the final set when del Potro took a tumble at 2-2, 30-15 and seemed to hurt his left wrist. Always cautious about his wrists since he’s had surgery on both, he conferred with tournament personnel, but went back to action, breaking Troicki’s serve in that fifth game.
Del Potro will be hoping to score his second career final berth in Shanghai, an achievement he first realized in 2013.