Ostapenko to meet Halep in semis, Zverev qualifies for ATP Finals

新华社| 2017-10-07 06:15:18|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko powered into her third semifinals in this season's Asian swing here on Friday at the China Open, beating Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 for a clash against world No. 2 Simona Halep, who managed to have a sweet revenge upon Russian Daria Kasatkina for her Wuhan Open loss.

The 84-minute match between Ostapenko and Cirstea was full of unforced errors and breaks as they were broken 10 times in total. Ostapenko broke the Romanian's serve in the opening three minutes, but committed double faults twice and was broken back right away.

"We had some really good rallies. Even I hit a lot of unforced errors, still I stayed very focused in the match and won it," Ostapenko said after the match.

The 20-year-old, ranked 8th in the world, is striving for a debut in the WTA Finals in Singapore. And Halep is waiting for her in the semifinals, whom Ostapenko beat 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at Roland Garros in their only previous meeting.

"I think still now I have nothing to lose. I think Simona will be the favorite because she's higher ranked. I mean, I'm already in semifinal, third week in a row playing pretty good here in Asia. I'm just going to go out there and try to show my best," she said.

In the other quarterfinal, the second seed Halep beat Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 to reach her first semifinal in Beijing, after her second round loss to the Russian in Wuhan Open.

The 12th seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic will take on either third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine or Caroline Garcia of France in the other women's semifinal.

In the men's singles campaign, world No.1 Rafael Nadal survived 22 aces from John Isner of the United States in the quarterfinals, overcoming the big server 6-4, 7-6(0) to advance into the semifinals for the fourth time in Beijing.

"I think I played a solid match. I played very well, changing good directions, playing very focused all the time," said the 2005 China Open winner. "It is an important victory for me, against a player that arrived here so well, winning two great matches," Nadal added.

Nadal, who is chasing a fourth year-end as world No.1, broke Isner's serve in the 9th game of the first set, which was the only break for the two players during the 104-minute fight.

The sixth seed could have taken a lead in the second set when he held two break points in the 2nd game, but squandered both of them. The back and forth continued and the second set was pulled into a tiebreak, in which the top-ranked Spaniard got seven points in a row to seal the victory.

"In general terms, I think I played with not many mistakes. I don't remember a lot of mistakes. I don't know how many I had. I went to the net very often. I think I did the things that I want to do, and I did it well," Nadal said.

Awaiting for Nadal in the semifinals is the third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who stopped Nadal in the quarterfinals here last year. Dimitrov knocked out another Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2.

"Grigor is a complete player. He has all the shots, big talent. He's serving big always," said the top seed, "Tomorrow will be a tough one, for sure. He's playing well. He had a good victory today. Let's see. I'm going to try to play my best. I hope to be ready for it."

The men's other semifinal will see a clash between two young talents of the tour - Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev. The 22-year-old Kyrgios, ranked 19th in the world, easily went through on Friday as his quarterfinal rival Steve Darcis retired after only 30 minutes trailing 6-0, 3-0, while the No. 2 seed Zverev, 20, knocked out Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in the last quarterfinal on the central court.

With the win, Zverev has become the third player to qualify for the ATP Finals in London, the youngest since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008, also aged 20.

"I think it's great for any player to qualify for a prestigious event that we have in London. It's really an award for every player. You know, you've been one of the best players, not only for one or two weeks in a year, but you've been one of the best players for the whole year. That's something special," said the world No. 3.

Zverev added that he expects a tough match against Kyrgios.

"Nick is a great player. He's a big server. He's someone that I know very well outside the court, as well. We've played a few times this year, all on hard courts. In Miami and Indian Wells he beat me. In Montreal I was able to beat him," Zevrev recalled.

KEY WORDS: China Open