Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during the men's singles semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Oct. 7, 2017. Rafael Nadal won 2-1. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
Simona Halep of Romania celebrates after being presented with a bouquet in the shape of the number '1', after surging to world number one by winning her women's singles semifinal match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Oct. 7, 2017. Simona Halep won 2-0 and advanced to the final. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
Spaniard world No.1 Rafael Nadal trashed the Bulgarian third seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the China Open final in Beijing on Thursday.
In the women's event, Simona Halep of Romania defeated Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 in just 75 minutes to claim the top spot in the WTA rankings for the first time in her career. Halep will play the final on Sunday against Caroline Garcia of France who beat 12th seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5.
It was Nadal's 60th win this season and his fourth final at the China Open. "I am very pleased the way that I have been playing the whole week, after a very tough first day. So here I am. I am in the final. Another chance tomorrow to compete in a big match," said the 16-time Grand Slam champion.
Dimitrov fought back from one set down to take it to a deciding third before Nadal proved to be too strong as he converted his second match point to seal the victory.
"It's very emotional, I think it's the first time I cried on court," Halep said after the match. "It's amazing that I could do this. My team, everyone at home...is watching, and I want to thank everyone. It's my special day."
Halep broke Ostapenko's serve in the first game at love and expanded the lead to 5-2 with another break in the seventh game before serving out the first set. The Romanian held the momentum in the second set to win the last three games of the match to seal a place in the final.
Local favorite Peng Shuai and her partner Sania Mirza of India were knocked out by Swiss Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-jan of Chinese Taipei 2-6, 6-1, 10-5 in the women's doubles semifinals. In the other doubles semifinal, Hungarian-Czech pairing of Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova beat Russian combo Ekaterina Makarova and Elina Vesnina 7-5, 6-4, 10-8 in a contest that went right down to the wire.