Top players make quarter-finals of China Open

BEIJING – Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams powered into the quarter-finals of the China Open on Thursday, while world number two Simona Halep made the last eight, and then withdrew from the tournament through injury.

Samantha Stosur also made the quarters, the Australian downing fellow unseeded player Alize Cornet of France 6-4 6-2.

Williams, the top women’s seed in Beijing, made it through after a scare in a back-and-forth game against Czech player Lucie Safarova that she eventually won 6-1 1-6 6-2.

World number three Nadal beat qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets in his second competitive singles match in three months.

It was another encouraging display from the second seed in Beijing, but Nadal recognises he is still far from his world-beating best following a wrist injury which forced him out of a string of tournaments.

lsewhere in the men’s competition, world number six Berdych helped his cause in aiming to qualify for next month’s ATP World Tour Finals in Great Britain when he made the quarter-finals.

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