The 31-year-old secured an immediate break in the second set to leave his Italian opponent with a mountain to climb, and two further breaks followed as Nadal wrapped up the match after one hour and two minutes on court. "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".
Swiss icon Roger Federer is also still in contention for the title after a fine display.
Federer delighted his small army of Chinese fans inside the Qi Zhong Centre with an emphatic 6-4 6-2 defeat of tricky Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.
"I felt good in the first match", the 36-year-old said. "Maybe this match-up was maybe a bit easier and I took my chances more".
Mary-Kate Olsen Makes Rare Red Carpet Appearance With Husband Olivier Sarkozy
Sarkozy, a banker and brother to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was dressed in a sharp grey suit and blue shirt.
"I served very well today; when that happens, then the rallies are short".
Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro won the match of the day by stopping third seed Alexander Zverev, recovering from losing the opener to win 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.
Dimitrov ousted American Sam Querrey today, 6-3, 7-6.
Rafael Nadal blew away Fabio Fognini in 63 minutes to set up a quarter-final showdown with sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov as he pursues one of the few tournaments to have eluded him.
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