Rafael Nadal eases past Fabio Fognini at Shanghai Masters

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  • World No 1 Rafael Nadal won his 14th consecutive match on Thursday
  • The Spaniard beat Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-1 at the Shanghai Masters in China
  • It took Nadal just 62 minutes to dispatch the temperamental Italian
  • Next up for Nadal is a quarter-final clash with Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov

Martyn Herman, Reuters

Rafael Nadal continued to scythe his way through the Shanghai Masters on Thursday as he reached the last eight at the expense of temperamental Italian Fabio Fognini.

The Spaniard needed two minutes over the hour to dispatch Fognini 6-3 6-1, taking his winning streak to 14 matches since the start of the US Open where he claimed a 16th Grand Slam title.

The 31-year-old is closing in on finishing the year as world No 1 for the first time since 2013. 

World No 1 Rafael Nadal won his 14th consecutive match on Thursday, beating Fabio Fognini

Nadal was ruthless as he won 6-3 6-1 in 62 minutes to reach the Shanghai Masters last eight

Nadal was ruthless as he won 6-3 6-1 in 62 minutes to reach the Shanghai Masters last eight

Nadal was ruthless as he won 6-3 6-1 in 62 minutes to reach the Shanghai Masters last eight

Italian Fognini cut a frustrated figure as he was totally outclassed by his Spanish opponent

Italian Fognini cut a frustrated figure as he was totally outclassed by his Spanish opponent

Italian Fognini cut a frustrated figure as he was totally outclassed by his Spanish opponent

Roger Federer, who beat tricky Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-2, is the only player who can stop Nadal sealing the year-end honour for a fourth time.

Fognini was playing the day after being handed a suspended ban from two Grand Slams and new £73,000 fine for verbally abusing a female umpire at the US Open. 

Former US 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.

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.

Nadal thanked the fans for their support after clinching his comfortable straight-sets victory

Nadal thanked the fans for their support after clinching his comfortable straight-sets victory

Nadal thanked the fans for their support after clinching his comfortable straight-sets victory

Next up for Nadal is a quarter-final clash with Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, who is seeded sixth

Next up for Nadal is a quarter-final clash with Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, who is seeded sixth

Next up for Nadal is a quarter-final clash with Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, who is seeded sixth

Dimitrov overcame American 10th seed Sam Querrey (pictured) 6-3 7-6(3) in his last-16 match

Dimitrov overcame American 10th seed Sam Querrey (pictured) 6-3 7-6(3) in his last-16 match

Dimitrov overcame American 10th seed Sam Querrey (pictured) 6-3 7-6(3) in his last-16 match

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