- China Open
Nadal fights back to reach semi-finalsESPN staff October 4, 2013 « Zaha set to leave United on loan | Moeen wins PCA Player of the Year »
Rafael Nadal came from a set and 4-1 down to overcome Fabio Fognini and reach the semi-finals of the China Open, and is now just one win away from becoming the world No. 1.
The Spaniard saved a break point to avoid falling 5-1 down in the second set, with Fognini being denied the opportunity to serve for a memorable victory. Instead it was Nadal who fought back to take a dramatic victory in a deciding set to come through 2-6 6-4 6-1.
Nadal requires one win to overtake Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings, and is seeking his second triumph at the tournament.
Fognini opened up a 5-1 lead as US Open champion Nadal was being outplayed. Losing only two games in the first set, Fognini continued to dominate and held a 4-1 lead in the second.
Nadal managed to stop Fognini from securing another break to go 5-1 in front, and it was from that point that Nadal produced a stunning comeback, taking the second set 6-4 with five games on the spin and then dropping just the single game in the deciding set to seal a fine win.
"It's something that doesn't create more pressure for me," Nadal said on potentially returning to the top of the world rankings. "It's something that already happened in the past. If that happens again, it will be good, it will be special for me, but we'll see."
Tomas Berdych is Nadal's semi-final opponent after the former Wimbledon finalist knocked out John Isner 7-5 6-2.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-1 6-2 win over Sam Querrey, and will face Richard Gasquet after the Frenchman upset third seed David Ferrer 6-3 6-4.
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