Nadal got the ball rolling against Fognini with an early break, and the Spaniard didn't look back as he sealed the opening set in 31 minutes.
Fognini was playing the day after being handed a suspended ban from two grand slams and $96,000 fine for verbally abusing a female umpire at the U.S. Open. "They are quite clear for me and I also am a little bit more consistent this year in serving performances". "I've been doing the things very well, 6-3 6-1 against a player like him for sure is a very good result for me, and being in the quarter- finals of course is great news".
The world No.2 was even swifter than Nadal, taking exactly an hour to see off Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-2.
Dimitrov began his bid to upset Nadal in confident fashion, and it wasn't until after he had saved three break points at four games apiece that he finally conceded serve and his opponent launched a forehand victor down the line.
"I served very well today; when that happens, then the rallies are short".
Top seed Nadal is chasing a tour-leading seventh title this season, and beat Bulgaria's Dimitrov for the second time in a week following his semi-final victory at the China Open.
Nadal powered his way into 4th Shanghai semi-final in game 9 after another commanding hold and he will play against Marin Cilic tomorrow for the place in the final.
In the game immediately after that close call, Nadal dampened Dimitrov's spirits further with a break of his own to lead 5-2 and serve out the set, although the latter played fiercely in his attempt to upset the favourite.
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