Nadal loses again, Mur­ray makes semis at China Open

Malta Independent - - SPORT / CLASSIFIEDS -

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.

Photo: AP

Rafael Nadal re­acts af­ter los­ing to Gre­gor Dim­itrov yes­ter­day

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