Rafael Nadal's bid to reclaim the world No. 1 spot remained on course as he progressed to the quarter-finals of the China Open tennis tournament following his 6-4, 7-6(7/3) victory over the stubborn German opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber, who ensured the second-ranked Spaniard a hard-fought battle that lasted 1 hour 55 minutes yesterday in Beijing.
The current world No. 2 Nadal could unseat Novak Djokovic from the top spot for the first time since July 2011 if he reaches the China Open final, even though the Serbian wins the title.
The Spaniard has been in sizzling form this season, winning 10 titles and registering a 61-3 record since returning from a seven-month injury lay-off in February.
Nadal will face Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals, after the Italian ruthlessly swept aside Australia's former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in a crushing 6-0, 6-2 defeat.
(This is a reprint from the People's Daily Online of the Oct. 3, 2013 edition.)