Nadal beats Fognini, reaches China Open semifinals - NBC Sports

Nadal beats Fognini, reaches China Open semifinals
APWF
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Fabio Fognini of Italy during the quarterfinal match of the China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
October 4, 2013, 6:53 am

BEIJING (AP) Rafael Nadal kept alive his hopes of wresting the top ranking from Novak Djokovic by rallying for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy in the quarterfinals of the China Open on Friday.

Nadal, who needs to reach the final here to have a chance of displacing Djokovic, was down a set and a break but changed the tempo of the match with a timely service break.

The Spaniard seemed to struggle at times with a niggling left knee injury, but wore down Fognini after that hard-fought service break in the seventh game of the second set.

Fognini again ran up a 3-0 lead in the second set and was serving with a lead of 4-2 before Nadal seized control.

It was the third straight victory over Fognini for Nadal, who next plays fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Berdych beat John Isner 7-5, 6-2.

In the women's draw, former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat local favorite Li Na 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal with Jelena Jankovic.

Jankovic also came from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4.

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