CHINA OPEN 2013
Nadal Powers Into Quarters
by ATP Staff|
Rafael Nadal did not have it all his own way, but the Spaniard advanced to the China Open quarter-finals on Wednesday night in Beijing with a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Second seed Nadal twice squandered a break advantage in the early stages of the first set before then saving a break point in the ninth game. The Spaniard regrouped to break Kohlschreiber in the following game, securing the set as the German hit a forehand long. Nadal then prevailed in the second set tie-break in just under two hours.
"Today the serve, in my opinion, helped in the important moments," said Nadal. "But it's true that his level of tennis I think was just brilliant tonight. I won because I played a great match. If not, I would not be here with a victory."
The 27-year-old Nadal is this week attempting to wrest the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking from Djokovic’s grip. The Mallorcan surrendered the top spot to Djokovic on 3 July 2011, when Djokovic won Wimbledon. If Nadal reaches the final in Beijing, he is guaranteed to overtake Djokovic regardless of the Serb’s performance this week.
Nadal won the China Open on his 2005 debut (d. Coria) and also claimed the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since that triumph, the Diamond Court - unveiled with the 2011 expansion - has replaced the Lotus Court as centre court.
"Emotionally the other court is very important," said Nadal. "It's one of the big moments of my career in the other stadium in the Olympics 2008.... I played one of my best weeks and I won the Olympic gold, so Beijing and this center court will be always in my mind."
The Spaniard goes on to face Fabio Fognini, whom he has beaten twice already this season, on clay in Rome and Roland Garros.
Nadal is bidding to win his 11th tour-level title of the season. The left-hander has lost just three matches in 13 tournaments and is on a 19-match winning streak since suffering a shock first-round exit at Wimbledon in June (l. to Darcis).
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