Garcia marches on
Caroline Garcia maintained her hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore by producing a stirring fight back to shock Elina Svitolina at the China Open in Beijing
The on-song Frenchwoman maintained her impressive winning run as she saved a match-point before overcoming her Ukrainian opponent 6-7(5) 7-5 7-6(6) in a marathon duel that took three hours and 21 minutes to complete.
Garcia is currently No.9 in the race to Singapore but she can still overtake Johanna Konta and claim the final berth at the season-finale if she departs Beijing with the title.
Garcia, who is also just one win victory away from reaching the Top 10 for the first time, will take on Petra Kvitova in the last four. The Czech defeated her compatriot Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-4 in the last eight.
Simona Halep is just one win away from becoming world No.1 for the first time after a crushing 6-2 6-1 triumph over Daria Kasatkina. If the 26-year-old is to seal top spot, then she must overcome Jelena Ostapenko, who she lost to in the French Open final earlier this year.
The Romanian, who was beaten by Kasatkina at the Wuhan Open last week, was content with her performance. She said: "I changed the tactic and it worked pretty well. I just played my game and style, and I was very consistent and solid as well."
Ostapenko reached the semi-final by powering past Sorana Cirstea 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.
In the men’s event in Beijing, Rafael Nadal's fine form continued as he defeated John Isner 6-4 7-6(0) in the quarter-finals.
The big-serving American smacked 22 aces however he was still unable to score his first success over the world No.1 at an official event. Commenting on his clinical win, Nadal said: “I think I played a solid match. I played very well, changing good directions. I think on return I did well. It’s an important victory for me against a player that arrived here playing so well.”
Grigor Dimitrov is closing in on a spot at the World Tour Finals after reaching the semi-finals for a second consecutive year. The Bulgarian survived a lengthy battle with Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2. The 26-year-old will take on Nadal for a tenth time on Friday.
The second semi-final will be contested between Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev. Kyrgios won nine games in a row before his last eight opponent Steve Darcis retired and Zverev eased beyond Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-3.
At the Japan Open in Tokyo, all four quarter-finals were one-sided.
Marin Cilic dropped just two games against Ryan Harrison, Adrian Mannarino was a 6-2 6-4 winner over Yuichi Sugita, David Goffin surpassed Richard Gasquet 7-5 6-2 and Diego Schwartzman thumped Steve Johnson 6-0 7-5.