Nadal storms into quarters

Nadal storms into quarters

Dimitrov sets up Djokovic clash

World number two Rafa Nadal sailed into the quarterfinals of the China Open, his first tournament in 13 weeks, with a 6-3, 6-4 win over German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk on Thursday.

The Spaniard, returning from a wrist injury, won 85 per cent of his first service points against the German and took an hour and 45 minutes to seal victory and set up a last eight clash with Martin Klizan at the ATP 500 event.

Slovak Klizan was leading 6-2, 3-0 when seventh seed Ernests Gulbis retired due to a right shoulder injury.

Third seed Tomas Berdych moved up a place to seventh in the race to the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London after his 6-3, 6-4 victory against wild card Viktor Troicki despite a poor serving display.

Elsewhere, Bulgarian Gri­gor Dimitrov beat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic, while sixth seed Andy Murray beat Pablo Cuevas 6-2, 6-2.

In the women section, Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova upset seventh seed Angel­ique Kerber in three sets, while Petra Kvitova also reached the last-eight without hitting a ball after American Venus Williams withdrew with a viral illness.

Twice champion Kuzn­et­sova dropped the first set but eventually prevailed 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the two-hour-and-eight minute battle.

Second seed Simona Halep battled past Andrea Petkovic of Germany with tie-breaks separating the pair in two of the three low quality sets.

The Romanian fought for more than two and half hours to tame Petkovic 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-6(1) and reach the last eight where she will meet Ana Ivanovic, who downed Sabine Lisicki 6-3, 7-5.

Italian Roberta Vinci prevailed in a three-setter, defeating 12th seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 0-6, 7-5.  

Nishikori enter semis In Tokyo, Kei Nishikori stren­gthened his bid to become the first Asian to qualify for an ATP year-end final as the fourth seed defeated American Donald Young 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Thursday at the Japan Open.

He needed only one break to get the better of Young, a one-time prodigy who has never lived up to expectations.

The Japanese took his victory in just under 90 minutes, despite a brief hiatus in the first set for the roof of the Ariake Colosseum to be closed when it started to rain.

Canadian third seed Milos Raonic set up a quarterfinal date with Uzbek Denis Istomin.

Raonic beat Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer 6-4, 6-3 while Istomin defeated Poland's Michel Przysiezny 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).

Paes-Bopanna ousted

Leander Paes and Rohan Bo­p­anna crashed out of the Ja­pan Open following a stra­ight set defeat against Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.

The unseeded Indian combine lost 3-6, 2-6 to the second seeded Croat-Brazilian combo in the quarterfinal, which was over in just 51 minutes.

Paes and Bopanna play with different partners on the ATP tour and hence playing against a formidable team, which has done extremely well this season, was a tall order.

The Indian pair had just one chance to break their opponents and lost their serve thrice in the contest.