Nadal, Djokovic, Serena reach China Open semisRafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Fabio Fognini of Italy during the quarterfinal match in China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
BEIJING (AP) -- Rafael Nadal kept alive his hopes of wresting the top ranking from Novak Djokovic by rallying for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy in the quarterfinals of the China Open on Friday.
Nadal, who needs to reach the final here to have a chance of displacing Djokovic, was down a set and a break but changed the tempo of the match with a timely service break.
The Spaniard seemed to struggle at times with a niggling left knee injury, but wore down Fognini after that hard-fought service break in the seventh game of the second set.
Fognini again ran up a 3-0 lead in the second set and was serving with a lead of 4-2 before Nadal seized control.
It was the third straight victory over Fognini for Nadal, who next plays fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Berdych beat John Isner 7-5, 6-2.
In the women's draw, former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat local favorite Li Na 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal with Jelena Jankovic.
Jankovic also came from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4.