PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach China Open final

World number one Rafael Nadal reached the China Open final with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in Beijing. He secured victory over last year’s finalist Dimitrov in two hours, 16 minutes.

Rafa’s 33rd hard-court victory of 2017 was also his second win over Dimitrov this year, after beating the 26-year-old in five sets at the Australian Open. Our champ increased his tour-level winning streak to eleven matches and improved to 60-9 on the season.

After the match, Rafa said:

I’m very happy to be in the final again. Of course, it is a very important achievement for me to continue with the positive feelings after winning the US Open. To be back here and be in the final with that very tough draw I had is a great effort. So I’m very happy.

I am very pleased the way that I have been playing the whole week, after a very tough first day. So here I am. I am in the final. Another chance tomorrow to compete in a big match. That’s important for me. That’s why we practise every day and try to improve.

Rafa will face either Nick Kyrgios or Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final.

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PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats John Isner to book China Open semi-final clash with Grigor Dimitrov

 AP – 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.

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.

Rafa 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.

Source: AP, Photos: Getty Images

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Karen Khachanov to reach the Quarterfinals of China Open

AFP – Rafael Nadal sent an ominous warning of intent as the 16-time Grand Slam winner bulldozed his way into the quarter-finals of the China Open on Thursday.

The Spanish world number one, enjoying a late-career flourish, dispatched Russia’s promising Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 on the outside hard court in Beijing.

Our champ broke Khachanov, ranked 42 in the world, in the fourth game and was never in serious trouble after that. Khachanov, at age 21 a rising talent, simply had no reply to Rafa’s explosive forehand and made too many routine errors.

Rafa broke the young Russian again in the third game of the second set as he cruised into the last eight. He will face John Isner in the last eight after the American sixth seed thrashed Leonardo Mayer 6-0 6-3.

Source: AFP

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal saves two match points in thrilling win against Lucas Pouille at China Open

Rafa Nadal came within a whisker of making an opening-round exit at the China Open on Tuesday as he was pushed to three sets by Frenchman Lucas Pouille before winning 4-6 7-6(6) 7-5.

The world number one, who was beaten by Pouille the last time they met at the 2016 U.S. Open, lost a close first set before saving two match points in a second-set tiebreak to level things up.

Rafa needed all his experience to keep Pouille at bay in the decider and the match looked to be heading for another tiebreak before he pounced to break Pouille’s serve for the first time to go 6-5 up in the third.

Our champ held his nerve to close out the match in clinical fashion after two hours and 31 minutes.

Source: Reuters

Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Alexander Zverev & Co. dress up for China Open player’s party

Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Juan Martin del Potro, Petra Kvitova, Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov and many other tennis players enjoyed the player party at the China Open in Beijing.

Rafael Nadal after winning Laver Cup: “It’s been an unforgettable three days” [PHOTOS]

Team Europe have defeated Team World 15-9 to win the inaugural Laver Cup. Roger Federer got the decisive win over Nick Kyrgios in Prague, coming from a set down and saving a match point to prevail 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 11-9 in a thrilling three-set match.

Rafa couldn’t be more happier for Roger and he was in high spirits during the match, cheering very loud with Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco from the bench.

Rafa Nadal:

Of course if the captain wanted me there, I was ready [to play in the final doubles clash]. But I didn’t want to play and thanks to Roger and the rest of the team that we avoid that situation!

It’s been an unforgettable three days, everyone knows I love a team competition. We had great team spirit and it’s been one of the nicest weeks we’ve had. Well done Team World for a great fight – I’m already looking forward to next year.

The Laver Cup, in its first year, featured excellent tennis and very close matches in Prague. Chicago will host it in 2018.

Congrats to Rafa and his teammates! Well done, Team Europe!

Sources:  Laver Cup, The Independent, metro.co.uk

Laver Cup 2017: Rafael Nadal loses to John Isner, Fedal could play doubles tonight in shock match

The Laver Cup will go down to the final match after John Isner beat Rafael Nadal for the first time in his career, 7-5, 7-6 (1). Isner’s win made the overall score 12-9 to Europe with just one rubber (Roger Federer v Nick Kyrgios) to play.

Team Europe can lift the trophy if Roger beats Kyrgios, but if it doesn’t happen then we might see Fedal playing doubles together again in Prague to decide the winner of the Laver Cup.