Top-ranked Rafael Nadal advances to China Open semis - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal advances to China Open semis

(AP Photo/Andy Wong). Chinese fans hold the Spanish national flag and cards to cheer on Rafael Nadal of Spain as he plays against against Karen Khachanov of Russia in their second round of the men's singles match in the China Open tennis tournament at ... (AP Photo/Andy Wong). Chinese fans hold the Spanish national flag and cards to cheer on Rafael Nadal of Spain as he plays against against Karen Khachanov of Russia in their second round of the men's singles match in the China Open tennis tournament at ...
By SANDRA HARWITT
Associated Press

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal moved into the semifinals of the China Open by beating sixth-seeded John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (0) on Friday.

The French Open and U.S. 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 3 1/2 hours to line up Petra Kvitova in the semifinals. 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 practicing 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.

"It's great for any player to qualify," said Zverev, who has five titles this season.

Second-ranked Halep moved into the women's semifinal by defeating Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2, 6-1.

To bump Garbine Muguruza from No. 1, the Romanian needs to reach the final. Halep's quarterfinal win avenged her straight-sets loss to the 34th-ranked Kasatkina at Wuhan last week.

Kvitova defeated Czech countrywoman Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4. Kvitova has won the last 24 matches she's played against fellow Czechs.

"We are pretty good friends from the Fed Cups," she said. "We know each other well. We practice a lot as well. Maybe it's extra motivation for us to play each other."

Ostapenko beat Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 in an error-filled quarterfinal.

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