China Open 2017: Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep Through to Semi-Finals on Friday

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2017

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during his men's singles quarter-final match against John Isner of the US at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI        (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
NICOLAS ASFOURI/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep booked their places in the 2017 China Open semi-finals on Friday as they overcame John Isner and Daria Kasatkina, respectively. 

The Spaniard extended his head-to-head win streak with the American to 7-0 as he won 6-4 7-6 (0), while Halep raced past Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1.

Grigor Dimitrov also reached the final four as he saw off Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2.

Full tournament results and an updated schedule are available via the China Open website.

                              

Recap

Despite Nadal's one-sided record against Isner, it was a hard-fought contest from the outset, and the American showed off his outstanding serving as he fired down 22 aces, per ProTennisLive.

There was little to separate them until the top seed earned a late break in the first set thanks to a stunning backhand pass.

Nadal also produced some sumptuous tennis early in the second, per Tennis TV:

However, he still had to dig deep to fend off Isner, as noted by Record's Jose Morgado:

They were the only break points he managed in the set, but Nadal earned just one and failed to capitalise as the pair remained all square.

When the set went to an inevitable tiebreaker, the world No. 1 proved to be a class apart, racing to an easy bagel. He'll face Dimitrov in the semi-final after the Bulgarian battled to a three-set win over Bautista Agut.

Women's second seed Halep took little more than an hour to dismantle her opponent as she avenged her defeat to Kasatkina in the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open last week.

The Romanian set the tone early on in the match, per the WTA:

Halep continued to hound her opponent with powerful groundstrokes throughout the match, and the Russian couldn't keep up.

Ultimately, Halep broke the 20-year-old seven times as she dropped just three games. "I think I played much better than Wuhan," she said, per the WTA. "I changed the tactic and worked pretty well. I did just my game and my style, and I was very consistent and solid as well."