(Reuters) - Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a ruthless 6-2 6-1 hammering of Stan Wawrinka to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday.
The Spaniard, a winner of 14 grand slam titles, suffered a second-round defeat to Dustin Brown at Wimbledon and was ousted in the third round at the U.S. Open by Fabio Fognini in a woeful campaign but has enjoyed a resurgence since arriving in China.
The 29-year-old, seeded eighth in Shanghai, reached the final in Beijing last week and needed a little more than an hour to breeze past French Open champion Wawrinka, who toiled for close to three hours late on Thursday to get past Marin Cilic.
Swiss Wawrinka, who had won his last two meetings against Nadal, avoided the ignominy of suffering a bagel in the second set by claiming the sixth game after his opponent had raced to 5-0 on the back of a nine-game winning run.
Nadal, hoping to grab one of the four remaining ATP World Tour Finals spots in London, will next meet Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in Sunday’s title decider.
Tsonga got the better of South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in a grueling 7-6(6) 5-7 6-4 match between a pair of the circuit’s biggest hitters.
The Frenchman saved three set points during the tie-breaker and secured an early break in the deciding set to carry him through to the last four.
”It was a good match,“ Tsonga told the ATP website . ”It was a good level, I think. We both played good tennis.
“I was really aggressive. I served really, really well today. I moved well. I‘m just really happy to win today. It come at the good moment. It’s good to play like this.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by xx