Nadal and Federer cruise in Shanghai

Nadal and Federer cruise in Shanghai

Nadal and Federer cruise in Shanghai

Federer wrapped up the victory in just 61 minutes, with his haste to end the contest no more evident than in the eighth game of the match.

The 31-year-old is closing in on finishing the year as world No.1 for the first time since 2013.

Swiss icon Roger Federer is also still in contention for the title after a fine display.

The world No.2 was even swifter than Nadal, taking exactly an hour to see off Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-2. I'm happy I was able to do better today on the break points. "It was really a fast-court match".

While a Nadal-Federer final looms, Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro could ruin the script, as he did at the U.S. Open where he defeated Federer in the quarter-finals when a semi-final between the two greats looked likely.

Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who saved match points on Wednesday against Ryan Harrison, had a more comfortable day as he beat American 10th seed Sam Querrey 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

Bulgarian Dimitrov, who could claim a debut appearance at the ATP World Tour Finals in London next month by reaching the final in Shanghai, plays Nadal next.

Marin Cilic, the fourth seed, was a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 victor against Steve Johnson, while Grigor Dimitrov got past Sam Querrey to set up an encounter with Nadal.

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