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Nadal and Federer cruise through, Del Potro masters Zverev in Shanghai
The world number one moved a step closer to a third consecutive title in Shanghai, while Roger Federer also won in straight sets.
Rafael Nadal cruised to a 14th consecutive victory at the expense of Fabio Fognini and Roger Federer also eased to a straight-sets win to reach the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Thursday.
World number one Nadal has not been beaten since Nick Kyrgios knocked him out of the Western & Southern Open in August and took just over an hour to dispatch Fognini 6-3 6-1.
Federer, playing his first tournament since losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals of the US Open, later breezed through with a 6-4 6-2 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The Swiss great, eyeing a second Shanghai Masters title, broke in the first game of the match and twice in the second set to march into the last eight.
Del Potro struck a blow for experience over youth, ousting third seed Alexander Zverev 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. The Argentine will now take on Viktor Troicki, who knocked out 12th seed John Isner.
Marin Cilic, the fourth seed, was a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 winner against Steve Johnson, while Grigor Dimitrov got past Sam Querrey to set up an encounter with Nadal.
Richard Gasquet and Albert Ramos-Vinolas also reached the quarter-finals by beating Gilles Simon and Jan-Lennard Struff respectively.
NADAL DISHES OUT MORE PUNISHMENT TO FOGNINI
Fognini was on Wednesday given a $96,000 fine and a suspended grand slam ban for verbally abusing a female umpire at the US Open last month.
The Italian was in for some on-court punishment a day later, Nadal turning on the style yet again as he eyes a third consecutive title following his China Open and US Open triumphs.
Top seed Nadal made only four unforced errors in another masterclass, hardly giving Fognini a look-in with a superb service display and breaking four times after piling the pressure on his unseeded opponent.
Nadal beat Dimitrov in three sets at the semi-final stage in Beijing and can expect a sterner test from the sixth seed.
FEDERER IN CRUISE CONTROL
Federer had won all four of his previous matches against Dolgopolov and his perfect record against the Ukrainian was never really under threat.
Dolgopolov was the only qualifier to reach round three, but Federer ensured he would go no further with a commanding performance.
The second seed faced only one break point and saved that, going on to serve out the first set in the same game and then easily claiming the second to progress.
Federer will come up against Gasquet in the quarter-finals, an opponent he has lost only twice to in 17 encounters. He was last beaten by the Frenchman six years ago.
DEL POTRO SETTING 2018 GOALS
Del Potro's victory over Zverev was his fourth over a top-10 opponent this year and the 16th seed already has an eye on making further strides next year after spending so long off the circuit due to injury during his career.
The 2009 US Open champion said: "One of my goals for the next year is just to play a whole year – around 20, 22 tournaments would be great for me,
"If my level continues improving, I will get closer to the top guys. But it's not easy. I have made a big effort after all my injuries to play tennis, but I think I'm doing well."