Nadal overcomes Isner, faces Dimitrov in China Open semis
Oct 07, 2017, 01:02
Last year's match saw Dimitrov break the Nadal serve five times and he spoke of his delight with the triumph: "I'm pretty happy with that win, " Dimitrov said.
Nadal hit a delicate backhand lob over the American, with the ball satisfyingly dropping just inside the baseline.
Handed a hard draw, the Spaniard was almost eliminated in the first round at the hands of Frenchman Lucas Pouille, saving two match points in a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5 win.
The world number four looked poised for the comfortable win when he went up 5-1 in the second set, but nerves seemed to have gotten to him right at the crucial moments as Rublev managed to produce an incredible fightback to retrieve a break and prevail in two consecutive lengthy games.
In the second set, the two players stayed 6-6 for a while until a tiebreaker in which Isner's performance declined and the Spaniard took his chance and won the match.
In the last four Nadal will face Dimitrov, who battled his way to a 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 6-2 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Spaniard leads Dimitrov 8-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. "He's a great guy".
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, who has already qualified, beat Russian Elena Vesnina 6-2, 7-5 to also enter the quarter-finals. I think Grigor is a player always with a great attitude, with a positive character.
Rafael Nadal has beaten John Isner to sail into the semi-finals in China, achieving a remarkable feat only ever achieved by Roger Federer. He's playing well. He had a good victory today.
Australian Nick Kyrgios sent down 12 aces against qualifier Steve Darcis, winning the first set 6-0 and going 3-0 up in the second before the Belgian retired due to injury.
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