Shanghai - Rafael Nadal's renaissance took a big step forward on Friday as he
whipped a flagging Stan Wawrinka for the loss of just three games to
reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals.
Nadal beat the world
number four 6-2, 6-1 to bring up his first win over a top-five player in
more than a year and extend a hot streak after he also reached last
week's China Open final.
Spain's Nadal was on court for just 64
minutes against Wawrinka, who admitted he was feeling the effects of his
marathon three-setter against Marin Cilic late the previous night.
French Open champion from Switzerland, who won last week in Tokyo, made
34 unforced errors and was on target with just 45 percent of his first
serves as he folded meekly.
"For sure physically I feel the effect
of last night, but also the past 10 days. I've been playing a lot,
winning Tokyo," Wawrinka said.
"Today I was just struggling a little bit. It's that simple. Against Nadal you cannot do anything if you're not 100 percent."
will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four as he bids to keep up his
record of winning at least one Masters title every season since 2005.
importantly, hours of extra work on the practice court look to be
paying off as after a tough year, Nadal looks to recapture the form that
brought him 14 Grand Slam titles.
"Being in the semi-finals is a
great result for me. I didn't play any semi-finals on hard court this
year, now I am playing (them) two weeks in a row," he said.
a big improvement for me. In terms of confidence, in terms of the level
of tennis, I am playing better. Very happy for that because I am
working so hard."
Earlier Tsonga laboured to a three-set win over big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-4.