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Nadal survives Pouille fright to progress at China Open

Nadal survives Pouille fright to progress at China Open”

The world No.1 beat the big-serving American 6-4 7-6 (7-0) to reach the last four where he will face third seed Grigor Dimitrov.

The other semi-final will be an intriguing encounter between two rising talents, with temperamental but talented Nick Kyrgios playing starlet Alexander Zverev of Germany.

"I think on return I did well".

Nadal had the worst possible draw despite being the top seed as he was drawn to face the risky Frenchman Lucas Pouille, the player who sent him crashing out of the US Open previous year.

"In general terms, I think I played with not many mistakes", Nadal said.

"I saw his match today".

Then I started to play better.

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"He's a great guy".

The second-ranked Halep eased past Russia's unseeded Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 in 69 minutes and will face Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko.

The eighth-seeded Australian rallied to beat Mischa Zverev 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, finding some degree of redemption for his ill-tempered, suspension-earning performance against the German a year ago in Shanghai.

Open last month while Dimitrov looks to reach the final in Beijing for a second straight year.

World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza and reigning champion Agnieszka Radwanska are both out, leaving world No. 2 Halep as the favourite.

Also, third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov eliminated Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (6), 7-5, Steve Darcis defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 and fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut beat Aljaz Bedene after the British player retired from the match in the second set.

But doing that on clay with the amount of effort you need to become a French Open champion, with best-of-five on clay, with the heat, with the conditions on the court, with the wind, with all the balls in the court you need to spend two, three hours on the court, winning 10 is absolutely out of this world. I'm happy for him that he's having a good year.

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