Nadal, in China Open semis, one win from No. 1 ranking

Oct. 4, 2013 at 10:31 AM
| License Photo

BEIJING, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal moved closer to retaking the No. 1 spot in the men's tennis rankings Friday with a three-set win he called "lucky" at the China Open quarterfinals.

Nadal got by Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, recovering from a first set in which Fognini raced out to a 5-1 start and was also up a break early in the second set. Nadal saved a game point that would have put Fognini ahead 5-1 in the second and took over from there.

He won the next five games to even the match and was soon ahead 4-1 in the third set.

"Then the situation changed a little bit," Nadal said after the match. "I played a little bit better, played with a little bit more rhythm and he felt that he needed to play another shot to win the point. But it was too late. I was very lucky."

Nadal will ascend to the No. 1 ranking if he wins Saturday over fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych. Current No. 1 Novak Djokovic, even if Nadal loses, must repeat as China Open champion to retain the top ranking.

Djokovic served noticed he's not going quietly, routing Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-2 in 52 minutes. Djokovic lost five points -- one in the first set -- while finishing off four of his 12 break chances.

The other quarterfinals results saw Richard Gasquet upset third-seeded David Ferrer 6-3, 6-4 while Berdych took out eighth-seeded John Isner 7-5, 6-2.

Nadal will play Berdych in the first semifinal Saturday. He is 15-3, with a 14-match winning streak dating to 2006, against Berdych. Djokovic is a healthy 8-1 all-time against Gasquet.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Electronics certification company makes hoverboard burst into flames
Eli Manning explains pout after Denver Broncos' Super Bowl score
Duke's Grayson Allen trips Louisville player
Nicola Griffin to appear in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue at 56
Larry Sanders considering NBA comeback