Rafael Nadal survived a fierce assault from Stanislas Wawrinka to reach the Shanghai Masters semifinals Friday, staying on course for a potential title match against Novak Djokovic, who recovered from a set down to also claim victory.
World No.1 Nadal was pushed to the limit by Wawrinka in a highly competitive first set, but the relentless Spaniard came out on top in a gripping tie-break lasting more than 20 minutes. It was one-way traffic in the second set as he prevailed 7-6(10), 6-1.
Top seed Djokovic kept his side of the bargain under floodlights at the Qizhong Tennis Center, withstanding a feisty challenge from Frenchman Gael Monfils to win his quarterfinal 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4.
Elsewhere in last-eight action, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro breezed through their matches in straight sets as they hunt berths at next month's elite World Tour Finals
Nadal, who has won 10 titles — including the French Open and US Open — this year, fended off three set points for Wawrinka, against whom he now boasts an 11-0 record, before taking his fourth opportunity to win the opener. A dispirited Wawrinka ran out of steam in the second set.
The results: Quarterfinals: Rafael Nadal bt Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(10), 6-1; Novak Djokovic bt Gael Monfils 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4; Juan Martin del Potro bt Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-3; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3.
Third round: Nadal bt Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 7-6(5); Wawrinka bt Milos Raonic 7-6(2), 6-4; Almagro bt Tomas Berdych 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-6(4); Djokovic bt Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3; Monfils bt Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3; Mayer bt David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3; Tsonga bt Kei Nishikori 7-6(5), 6-0; del Potro w/o Tommy Haas.