despatches Dimitrov in Beijing, Williams withdraws
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[October 03, 2014]
BEIJING (Reuters) - World number one
Novak Djokovic continued his march to a fifth China Open title by
dismantling a flat Grigor Dimitrov in a one-sided quarter-final on
Friday while women's top seed Serena Williams was forced to pull out
American world number one Williams, who had reached the last
eight on the Beijing hard courts after a 6-1 1-6 6-2 win over Czech
Lucie Safarova late on Thursday, cited a problem in her left knee
for handing a walkover to Australian Sam Stosur.
It was the second tournament in a row the 33-year-old, who won her
18th grand slam singles title at the U.S. Open last month, had been
forced to withdraw after she quit her opening match at the Wuhan
Open last week because of illness.
Bulgarian Dimitrov looked off color in his display against the
Beijing expert Djokovic, who extended his record on the blue hard
courts to 22-0 with a 6-2 6-4 win.
The Serb targeted the faltering backhand of the fifth seed in the
opening set, which he took with breaks in the fourth and eighth
games in an improved display after showing rust in his opening
The second set seemed to be going the same way as Djokovic pushed
Dimitrov back with some deep groundstrokes, while producing his
trademark extensive court coverage to negate the threat of his
opponent as he broke to lead 3-1.
Dimitrov finally showed some fight, breaking back with a thumping
forehand cross court winner only to lose serve again in the next
game to trail 4-2.
Djokovic looked set to serve out the match at 5-3 and 30-0 up but
Dimitrov rallied again, breaking the Serb with the point of the
match after a stunning backhand winner down the line at full
But rather than capitalize on the heroics, the world number 10
crumbled, giving up the match on a third double fault to leave his
bid to qualify for the ATP Tour World Finals in London next month in
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Djokovic will face either U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic or Briton
Andy Murray, who, like Dimitrov, is chasing a place in the season
ending event for the top eight, in the last four.
In the women's tournament, Stosur will take on Wimbledon champion
Petra Kvitova in the semis after the Czech beat Italian Roberta
Vinci 7-6 (7) 6-4.
World number three Kvitova, who won last week's event in Wuhan,
mixed seven aces with six double faults as she battled through.
French Open champion Maria Sharapova faces Russian compatriot
Svetlana Kuznetsova in quarter-final action on Friday with former
world number one Ana Ivanovic awaiting the winner in the last four.
(Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan
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