Tennis: Nadal ousts Gulbis to reach Doha semis
DOHA (AFP) - World number one Rafael Nadal showed his trademark grit and determination on Thursday as he reached the semi-finals of the Qatar Open with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Latvian Ernests Gulbis.
The Spaniard has never previously won an ATP World Tour title in the first week of the season, but he is on course to do so this time after seeing off Gulbis, the only other seeded player left in the draw.
Gulbis hit some startling winners, led 5-4 in the first set, and had three points to take a 4-1 lead in the second, but Nadal was always tough and resilient when it mattered most.
Nadal also served very well, approached the net more than usual, and his standard went up markedly when it seemed that Gulbis might take a grip on the second set.