Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have strolled into the last eight of the eighth ATP 1000 event of the year after both posted straight sets win on Thursday to stay on course for a possible showdown for the title on Sunday. The top seeded Nadal won his seventh match in a row with a 6-3,6-1 win over the Italian Fabio Fognini, while the second seeded Federer, champion in 2014, beat the Ukrainian Alexander Dolgopolov 6-4,6-2.
The 28th ranked Fognini, who has been provisionally suspended from the next two grand slams following his outburst against the chair umpire in his first round loss at the U.S. Open this year, only managed four games against the Spaniard who is bidding to win a maiden title in Shanghai and the seventh title of 2017. He next faces the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov for the second time in as many weeks after the sixth seed knocked out the tenth seeded American Sam Querrey 6-3,7-6(3) in the first match of the day.
Roger Federer recorded his fifth win against Dolgopolov, ranked 41st in the world as he lost only six games. He now plays the Frenchman Richard Gasquet who won an all French battle against the 2014 finalist Giles Simon. Gasquet won 7-5,6-7(5),6-3 in a battle between two unseeded players.
Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina continued his latest comeback as he upset the third seeded German Alexander Zverev, who has already booked his place in the season ending finale in London next month along with Nadal and Federer. The sixteenth seeded Argentine came back from a set down to win 3-6,7-6(5),6-4. Del Potro who had handed Roger Federer his only loss at a grand slam this year at the U.S. Open is now only within one win from setting up a rematch in the semi-finals. He plays the unseeded Victor Troicki of Serbia who upset the 12th seeded American John Isner 6-4,7-6(4). With both Isner and Querrey losing in the round of sixteen, there are no Americans left in the last eight.
The Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia, seeded fourth, also took out another American Steve Johnson 7-6(1),6-4. It was Cilic’s fourth win against the American who he also beat in the third round at Wimbledon this year. He takes on another Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas who had a 7-6(4),6-4 win over the German Jan-Lennard Struff.
The following is the quarter final line up with my pick mentioned first :-
Rafael Nadal (1) v. Grigor Dimitrov (6)
Marin Cilic (4) v. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (-)
Juan Martin Del Potro (16) v. Victor Troicki (-)
Roger Federer (2) v. Richard Gasquet (-)
Nadal takes a season leading 63-9 record and also has a 9-1 record against the Bulgarian whom he beat in three sets last week in Beijing where he won his sixth title of the year. The fourth seeded Cilic who will qualify for the ATP finals should he win the title on Sunday has a 3-2 edge in career meetings against the left handed Ramos-Vinolas. Federer takes a 15-2 record against the Frenchman Richard Gasquet who has slipped to 31 in the rankings following an injury plagued season. Del Potro who can come within just 80 points behind Pablo Carreno Busta in the race to London should he win the title in Shanghai takes a 6-0 record against Troicki.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: email@example.com]