Nadal matches unique Federer feat in win

Rafael Nadal has beaten John Isner to sail into the semi-finals in China, achieving a remarkable feat only ever achieved by Roger Federer.

 

Nadal overcame Isner's massive serve and ground strokes on Friday to edge within striking distance of his sixth title of 2017.

The World No.1 won 6-4, 7-6 (0), bagelling his American opponent in the second set tiebreak.

Happy days for Nadal. Image: Getty

According to data from Tennis Abstract, the only other time in Isner's career that he's failed to win a point in a tiebreak was against Federer at the 2015 US Open.




After saving an early break point, Nadal enjoyed success on the Isner serve in the ninth game of the match, thanks largely to a couple of dazzling backhands, and duly served out the first set.

Isner and Federer in 2015. Image: Getty

Isner responded impressively, forcing two break points at the start of the second set, only for Nadal to get out of trouble with the aid of a second-serve ace.

A break point for Nadal then went begging, but the top seed proved unstoppable in the subsequent breaker, a classy lob setting the tone as he won seven points in succession to wrap up victory.

The Spaniard will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the last four, the third seed beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-2.

Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios is also into the semi-finals, accounting for Steve Darcis 6-0, 3-0 after the Belgian was forced to retire injured.

with agencies

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