Rafael Nadal reaches Shanghai Masters final
Rafael Nadal set up a possible meeting with Roger Federer in the final of the Shanghai Masters but was made to work hard for his semi-final victory over Marin Cilic.
Nadal reached his 111th career final and 10th of the year with a 7-5 7-6 (7/3) victory against the big-serving Croatian to reach the final where he will face either Federer or Juan Martin del Potro.
The Spaniard, who lost to Nikolay Davydenko in his only previous Shanghai Masters final appearance in 2009, hit 23 winners and benefited from 40 unforced errors by his opponent.
Cilic came under pressure early on as he had to save six break points in his first two service games before hitting back as he went on to waste three set points.
Nadal was able to hold serve to make it 5-5 and then break in the next to lead before serving out for the set in 67 minutes.
Breaks of serve were exchanged midway through the second set and Cilic kept himself in the contest with a big forehand winner down the line as Nadal served for the match at 5-4.
But when the set went into a tie-break Nadal clinched the match with a service winner in a little over two hours to take his winning run to 17 matches.