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October 10, 2015

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Djokovic, Nadal into Beijing last 4

NOVAK Djokovic’s China Open charge showed no sign of slowing as he destroyed towering American John Isner 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals in a lightning 52 minutes last night.

The top-ranked Serb brushed off the 2.08-meter Isner to clock up his 27th straight victory at a tournament where he has never been beaten.

The lop-sided defeat was almost embarrassing for the 13th-ranked Isner, clocking in a shade quicker than Djokovic’s similar straight-sets humiliation of China’s 219th-ranked Zhang Ze in the previous round.

Djokovic finished off Isner with a service winner on his first match point to move past Jimmy Connors and into sole second place for best unbeaten starts at a tournament, behind Rafael Nadal’s 31 at the French Open.

Next up for the seemingly unstoppable Serb, who won three out of four grand slam finals this year to reach 10 major titles, is Spain’s David Ferrer, who beat Chinese Taipei wildcard Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 6-1.

Earlier, Nadal rallied from a set down against American Jack Sock before setting up a chance for revenge in the semifinals against Fabio Fognini.

The Spaniard, scrapping to recover form after a tough year, was outgunned by Sock’s howitzer forehand but saw off the world No. 30, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal, into his first hardcourt semifinal for more than a year, will now face Fognini, who has beaten him three times this season, including in last month’s US Open third round.

“He’s a great player. When you play against a great player, especially if you don’t play to your best, your chances are lower,” Nadal said of the Italian, who beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.

In the women’s draw, Ana Ivanovic beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-5 to set up a semifinal with Timea Bacsinszky, who recovered to oust Sara Errani 0-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Agnieszka Radwanska beat Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4 to go into a semifinal clash with the in-form Garbine Muguruza, who halted the run of American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1, 7-5.


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