Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

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Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return shot against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their men's semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return shot against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their men’s semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Shanghai (AP) — Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will face each for the 38th time after advancing Saturday to the Shanghai Masters final.

Top-seeded Nadal beat Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semifinal, and second-seeded Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.

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Nadal, who won a tour-best sixth title of the season at the China Open last week, improved his current winning streak to 16 matches. The Spaniard, who has 16 Grand Slam trophies, won the French and U.S. Open titles this season.

Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men’s singles record to 19 titles.

Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.