Nadal advances to China Open semis
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal moved into the semi-finals of the China Open by beating sixth-seeded John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (0) yesterday.
The French Open and US Open champion has won five titles this season and is closing in on the year end No. 1 ranking.
"I don't remember a lot of mistakes," Nadal said. "I went to the net very often. I did the things that I want to do, and I did it well, so very happy."
On the women's side, unseeded Carolina Garcia of France upset third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (6) in almost 312 hours to line up Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals. Simona Halep, on course to becoming the No. 1 player in the world for the first time, faces French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
Nadal saved all three break points he faced against Isner. He will next play third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2.
Dimitrov spent time practising with Nadal in Mallorca ahead of the hard-court season. The two also went fishing at sea.
"We catch a few ones (fish), but not very big," Nadal said. "But we had some good dinner."
Nick Kyrgios also advanced. The eighth-seeded Australian won when opponent Steve Darcis retired with a neck strain while trailing 6-0, 3-0.
Kyrgios will take on second-seeded Alexander Zverev. The German beat Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 and qualified for the season-ending tournament in London.
Second-ranked Halep moved into the women's semi-final by defeating Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2, 6-1.
To bump Garbine Muguruza from No. 1, the Romanian needs to reach the final.