Tennis: Nadal advances to first hard-court semi-final in over a year at China Open

BEIJING (AFP) - Rafael Nadal fought back from a set down to beat hard-hitting American Jack Sock and reach his first hard-court semi-final in more than a year at the China Open on Friday.

The Spanish great, scrapping to recover his form after a tough year, was frequently outgunned by Sock's howitzer forehand but dug deep to see off the world No. 30 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal's hard-court semi-final drought had stretched back 10 tournaments to Beijing last year. He will now play either Fabio Fognini or Pablo Cuevas for a place in Sunday's decider.

Among the later quarter-finals, Beijing's unbeaten five-time champion Novak Djokovic is in action against another powerful American, John Isner.

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