Nadal loses again, Murray makes semis at China Open
Rafael Nadal suffered another early loss when he fell to Grigor Dimitrov for the first time 6-2, 6-4 in the China Open quarterfinals yesterday.
Nadal’s only two singles titles of the year were in April, and he hasn’t reached a final since because of a left wrist injury, illness, and poor play.
Dimitrov lost all seven of his previous matches against Nadal, but the Spaniard was struggling on serve this time. The first five games were breaks, and Dimitrov held first for 4-2.
Nadal was broken a fifth straight time to start the second set, but fought to the end to stay in touch with Dimitrov, who earned his third top-10 win of the year.
“I’m pretty happy with that win,” Dimitrov said. “I’m not going to lie. I’ve played Rafa quite a few times. So many times I was close or a couple of times I was cramping. There was just always something happening. Today, I just played an excellent match. Simple as that. I’m proud. A lot of the work is paying off.”
The second-seeded Nadal said he hoped to regroup next week for the Shanghai Masters.
“Grigor ... deserved to win,” Nadal said. “Losing five serve games is something you can’t do to win a match like this.”
Andy Murray advanced to the semifinals by beating fellow Brit Kyle Edmund 7-6 (9), 6-2.
The top-seeded Murray hit 12 aces and saved three of four break points to set up a semifinal against David Ferrer. The fifth-seeded Spaniard beat Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-7 (4), 6-1, 7-5.
Murray trailed 5-2 in the tiebreak and saved a set point at 6-5 before finally converting his fifth opportunity to claim the first set.
Edmund broke for 2-0 in the second set, but Murray went on a sixgame run to win.
“He made it very tough for me,” Murray said. “He’s improving at a solid pace now. His ranking is moving in the right direction. He’s getting there.”
Third-seeded Milos Raonic beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 6-4, and will next face Dimitrov.
Construction at Roland Garros halted again
In the latest setback to the planned expansion of Roland Garros, construction was halted again by a court decision that could have an impact on Paris’ bid for the 2024 Olympics.
Three days after France’s highest administrative jurisdiction gave its go-ahead to the project, a different court ordered a new suspension of the redevelopment.
The French Tennis Federation said it was “scandalized” by a decision “taken in dubious conditions,” and immediately asked the court to overturn the judgment.
The Roland Garros plans have been controversial from the start after the French federation decided five years ago to keep the French Open there and renovate the site, rather than move the tournament.
In 2013, a French tribunal suspended the plans for a few months before the administrative Court of Paris’ appeals chamber allowed the federation to expand into the Serres d’Auteuil.
Environmental groups opposing the Roland Garros extension claim the construction of a new 5,000seat court in the botanical garden would harm the vegetation.
The botanical garden’s 19th-century greenhouses, a few hundred meters (yards) from center court, host a large variety of tropical and local flowers.
Rafael Nadal reacts after losing to Gregor Dimitrov yesterday