Ranked Rafael Nadal advances to China Open semis

Watch as Rafael Nadal greets the smiling ball kids of the 2017 China Open in Beijing. Video China Open

World No.1 Rafael Nadal of Spain cruised past Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation 6-3, 6-3 and local favorite Peng Shuai retired at the third round of China Open here on Thursday.

Simona Halep is on the cusp of overhauling Garbine Muguruza as world number one after the Romanian raced into the semi-finals of the women's draw. When Nadal saved two match points against Frenchman Lucas Pouille, it was a contrast to his opener in the Chinese capital. Dimitrov followed that up with his first-ever win over Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 (5), 7-5 after trailing in both sets.

Dimitrov and Nadal have met on nine previous occasions - of which the Spaniard has won eight - but the Bulgarian's only victory over the world number one came in the Beijing quarter-finals past year. Asked if he thought Nadal could win 10 French Open titles throughout his career, Corretja replied: 'No, no, no.

Despite Nadal's one-sided record against Isner, it was a hard-fought contest from the outset, and the American showed off his outstanding serving as he fired down 22 aces, per ProTennisLive.

The prior history between the two is heavily slanted in Nadal's direction. He's playing well. He had a good victory today. "I hope to be ready for it".

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"In general terms, I think I played with not many mistakes", Nadal said. "I did just my game and my style, and I was very consistent and solid as well".

The Spaniard will face third-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the last four. "I'm not going to lie". I'm happy for him that he's having a good year.

"There was just always something happening".

"Maybe recently there were ups and downs and several matches in a row that stressed it (knee injury)", Peng Shuai said after the match, "The doctor suggested I should take a period of rest and get it treated, but I can only rest after the season". Simple as that. I'm proud.

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