Nadal to face Isner in China

Rafael Nadal stays top in unchanged ATP rankingsMore

World No.1 Rafael Nadal of Spain cruised past Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation 6-3, 6-3 and local favorite Peng Shuai retired at the third round of China Open here on Thursday.

Wild card Del Potro is scheduled to face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, seeded no.3, who got rid of Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

"Just something came to my eye, that's all", Nadal, who is aiming to win the men's competition for a sixth time, said.

"I think on return I did well". It was bothering me for a while.

Nadal, who won his third US Open title last month, maintained his momentum in the second set to seal the victory.

Nadal said: "I am happy about the match today".

In the last four Nadal will face Dimitrov, who battled his way to a 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 6-2 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.

Nadal told atpworldtour.com: "He is a player that I really like, a good friend on the tour. If not, probably I will not have chances tomorrow", Nadal added. "I played very well, changing good directions".

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Second seed Alexander Zverev served seven aces as he beat Britain's Kyle Edmund 6-3 7-6 (3) in the day's last match and will meet Italy's Fabio Fognini in the next round.

Petra Kvitová is also through to the semi-finals after overcoming fellow Czech Barbora Strýcová 6-3, 6-4.

World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza and reigning champion Agnieszka Radwanska are both out, leaving world No. 2 Halep as the favourite.

But doing that on clay with the amount of effort you need to become a French Open champion, with best-of-five on clay, with the heat, with the conditions on the court, with the wind, with all the balls in the court you need to spend two, three hours on the court, winning 10 is absolutely out of this world.

But Halep is in red-hot form and claimed the scalp of former number one Maria Sharapova earlier this week, beating the Russian at the eighth attempt.

Kvitova said with the end of the season in sight, many players are running on empty.

The 31-year-old Peng said she had been having injections to ease the pain and her knee was heavily strapped, but she could not play on.

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