Shanghai: Top-seeded Rafael Nadal will play for his seventh title of the year at the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.
Nadal improved his current winning streak to 16 matches after beating fourth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 7-6 (3) Saturday in the semifinals.
Nadal, who won a tour-best sixth title of the season at the China Open last week, has now beaten Cilic in five of their six matches.
The Spaniard hadn’t lost his serve in 32 service games but Cilic broke him twice, in the sixth and 10th games of the second set.
At 30-40 in the sixth game, Nadal netted a forehand volley to surrender his serve for the first time, and responded by twice angrily banging his racket on his leg, just above the knee.
Nadal failed to take advantage of his first match point when he made a forehand error at 40-30 in the 10th game, and went on to have his serve broken.
Leading 6-3 in the second-set tiebreaker, Nadal prevailed on his second match point when Cilic netted a service return.
Nadal, who was a finalist here in 2009, will play the winner of the semifinal between second-seeded Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro.
The Shanghai Masters wants to expand to a 10 or 11 day event, increase its draw size from 64 to 96, and raise prize money to more than $10 million, starting in 2019.