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Nadal knocks out Isner, meets Dimitrov in semi-finals

Top seed Rafael Nadal on Friday knocked out sixth seed John Isner 6-4, 7-6(0) to set up a semi-finals clash with Bulgaria’s Gregor Dimitrov at the China Open in Beijing.

Newsmen report that the 2005 champion recorded his 59th match win of 2017 with victory over the American.

Nadal is bidding to become the year-end number one for the fourth time (also 2008, 2010, 2013), to improve his rating to a 23-5 mark at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in China.

The Spaniard broke Isner’s serve at 5-4 in the first set, then recovered from 15/40 in the second game of the second set before sweeping through the tie-break.

He is now an ATP World Tour-best 59-9 (32-7 on hard courts) in 2017 and continues his quest for a 75th tour-level crown.

Earlier in the day, Dimitrov further strengthened his bid for a spot at the Nitro ATP Finals — to be held at The O2 in London from Nov. 12 to Nov. 19 — by advancing to the Beijing semi-finals.

Dimitrov improved to 38-15 on the season after he defeated fifth seed Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 in the quarter-finals over two hours and 29 minutes.

The victory gives Dimitrov 90 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London (now 3,275 points), but the Bulgarian remains in fifth position with 440 points behind Austrian Dominic Thiem (3,715).

Nadal will look to get the better of the player hoping to join him at next month’s ATP Finals on Saturday in the China Open semi-finals.

The Spaniard leads Dimitrov 8-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.



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