Saturday 25 January 2020

Nadal on brink of retaking No 1 spot

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

tennis

Rafael Nadal is one win away from reclaiming the world No 1 ranking after pulling off an impressive comeback to beat Fabio Fognini at the China Open in Beijing.

It looked like Novak Djokovic might hang on to top spot for another week when Nadal trailed Fognini by a set and 4-1 in the quarter-finals, but the Spaniard took advantage of a wobble from the Italian to roar back and win 2-6 6-4 6-1.

Victory over Tomas Berdych in the last four would take Nadal back to No 1 for the first time in more than two years.

Meanwhile, Djokovic was in devastating form yesterday, beating America's Sam Querrey 6-1 6-2 in only 52 minutes.

His semi-final opponent will be Richard Gasquet, who repeated his US Open victory over third seed David Ferrer, winning 6-3 6-4.

Meanwhile, women's top seed Serena Williams overcame a second-set fightback to defeat Caroline Wozniacki 6-1 6-4 to set up a semi-final clash with Agnieszka Radwanska.

The other last-four clash will pit eighth seed Jelena Jankovic against ninth seed Petra Kvitova.

Wladimir Klitschko has derided British world heavyweight title hopefuls David Haye and Dereck Chisora as "barking dogs" ahead of his defence against Alexander Povetkin in Moscow tonight.

Haye and Chisora, plus Haye's future foe Tyson Fury, are all expected at ringside in the Olimpiyskiy Arena to witness a showdown which Klitschko believes has the potential to be the toughest of his career.

Klitschko proved too much for Haye in July 2011, and older brother Vitali out-pointed Chisora early last year – and the Ukrainian believes the manner of Povetkin's big-fight build-up proves he is a cut above the British pair.

Klitschko heads into the bout on the back of a nine-year, 18- fight winning streak stretching back to his shock fifth-round stoppage loss to Lamon Brewster in 2004.

Irish Independent

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