Cilic brings an end to Nadal's run in semifinal

Croatian to meet Serbian Novak Djokovic in final

Giant killer: Croatia’s Marin Cilic waves to the crowd after his 6-1, 6-3 win over RafaelNadal in the semifinals of the China Open on Saturday. AFP

 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, the highest surving women's seed, beat fellow Russian Nadia Petrova 6-1, 6-3 in just over an hour to ease into her fourth China Open final, where she will play Pole Agnieszka Radwanska, who won 6-4 6-3 against France's Marion Bartoli.

Top seed Nadal had talked this week of getting back to the kind of form he enjoyed before tendinitis of the knees and an abdominal injury disrupted his season. With his first final since May in his sights, however, the Australian Open champion simply had no answer to the power of the eighth seeded wildcard, who will meet Novak Djokovic on Sunday. Cilic, in his first meeting with the former world number one, led 5-0 after just 15 minutes of the first set and allowed Nadal just two break points in the match, both in the second set.

Even the vociferous support of the centre court crowd could not rouse Nadal to anything more than token resistance and Cilic sealed victory with a rasping forehand on his fifth match point.  Second seed Djokovic beat Swede Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-3 in a match that was closer than the scoreline suggested to take his place in the final.

Tsonga, Youzhny in final
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga powered to a quick-fire 6-3, 6-3 win over fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils to reach the final of the Japan Open. 

Mikhail Youzhny stands between the world number seven and a third title of year after the Russian's 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 victory over eighth seed Lleyton Hewitt in the first semifinal.
Tsonga broke through in the fourth game of the first set courtesy of an athletic forehand volley, and fourth seed Monfils had no answer to his close friend's superior firepower.
Tsonga charging the net to put away another sharp volley and go ahead 5-3, and he ended proceedings with his ninth ace after just 55 minutes. Youzhny, who beat defending champion Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, overpowered eighth seed Hewitt in a one-sided opening set.  He saved three break points at 4-4 in the second with two astonishing running backhands down the line and a superb volley off a fierce Hewitt return. The deciding set went with serve until Youzhny broke to clinch victory with a wicked backhand slice into the corner that a scrambling Hewitt could only dump into the net.

Comments (+)