World No 1 Rafael Nadal battled past Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 and into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday.
The 16-times grand slam winner, who beat Dimitrov in three sets in the China Open semi-finals last week, fired 32 winners and won two crucial breaks to prevail in two and a half hours.
Nadal, who extended his winning streak to 15 matches, pegged Dimitrov back with relentless baseline hitting to take the first set with ease.
But the Bulgarian, who sent down 13 aces in the match, took the fight to the Spaniard in the second set, coming from 3-0 down in a tie-break to level.
Trailing 3-2 in the decider, Dimitrov's forehand crashed into the net to hand Nadal the break he needed. The top seed consolidated to make it 5-2 before serving out the match.
Next up for the 31-year-old is Croatian Marin Cilic, who beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-4 in another quarter-final.
Roger Federer, the only man who can deny Nadal the year-end world number one ranking, is in action against Frenchman Richard Gasquet later on Friday.
Sharapova trounces qualifier to reach Tianjin semis
Maria Sharapova swatted aside Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour at the Tianjin Open on Friday to reach her second semi-final since returning from a 15-month doping ban.
Sharapova was broken in the first game but fought back to draw level before going on to take the first set with a hold to love.
The former World No 1, targeting a first title since returning to the tour in April, raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set as an error-prone Voegele struggled on serve.
Voegele handed Sharapova three match points when she made her eighth double fault of the contest while trailing 5-1.
The Russian sealed the match with a forehand winner and will meet defending champion Peng Shuai on Saturday.
Peng eased past Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 while Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus beat local hope Zhu Lin 6-3, 6-4 in another quarter-final and awaits the winner of the match between Christina McHale and Sara Errani.
Bhambri-Sharan end runners-up at Tashkent ATP Challenger
Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan lost the Tashkent Challenger final after a 4-6, 2-6 defeat against the second seeded pair of Hans Podlipnik-Castillo and Andrei Vasilevski.
It was second final of the season for the left-handed Sharan on the Challenger Tour, having won the title at Bordeaux, France with Purav Raja.
Sharan has consistently made the semi-finals of the ATP 250 events and had ended runner-up at the season-opening Chennai Open with Raja.
For Yuki it was his first doubles final of the 2017 season in seven tournaments.
Yuki and Sharan earned 75 points each and split US$5400 as team while the winners pocketed 125 ATP points each and shared US$9300 as prize money.