Rafael Nadal picked up arguably his best win in 14 months today blasting Stan Wawrinka 62, 61 in the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters.
Nadal had lost his last two to the Swiss and hadn’t beaten a Top 5 foe since his 2014 French Open title over Novak Djokovic (was 0-5 since, 0-11 in sets). So after a difficult season, this win was extra special, and he beat the reigning French Open champion.
“It is a court that he likes to play on,” said Nadal after the 63-minute win. “The court is quick. He feels comfortable on these surfaces because he has a huge serve, very, very good forehand. He likes to hit the serve and then hit the forehand and go to the net. He’s a very competitive player. When he’s in the semi-finals it’s because he’s playing well. So it will be a very tough match. I hope to play well, keep doing like every day, playing a little bit better every day. I hope tomorrow to continue with that improvement.”
The three games were the fewest Wawrinka’s won on a hardcourt all season. Though Nadal acknowledged Stan wasn’t up to par especially in the second set.
Nadal will now meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals on Saturday. He could face Djokovic again on Sunday in the finals.
“Being in the semifinals is a great result for me,” said Nadal who reached the Beijing finals last week. “I hadn’t played the semifinals on hard court all year and now I am playing two weeks in a row in the final rounds. That’s a big improvement for me. In terms of confidence, in terms of level of tennis, I am playing better. Very happy for that because I am working so hard.”
The win was also Nadal’s 300th at the Masters level but he has never won Shanghai. Nadal has victories this week over Ivo Karlovic, Milos Raonic and now Wawrinka.
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