Djokovic of Serbia serves during match against Verdasco of Spain at China Open tennis tournament in Beijing
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still in contention for the crown, which means the race for ATP’s world number one continues Friday when they take on separate opponents.
The 26-year-old Serbian struggled and lost in the first set (5-7) against Fernando Verdasco of Spain but recovered to win the next two (6-2, 6-2) to gain a seat in the quarters versus Sam Querrey. The 6-foot-6 American pulled off the minor upset against 6th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-3, 7-6 (2).
In eight Djokovic-Querrey head-to-head matches, the American was only able to steal one off the number one player in the world. That happened in 2012 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Paris, France, when Querrey triumphed in a comeback effort to the tune of 0-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Nadal, meanwhile, won over Philipp Kohlscreiber, 6-4, 7-6 Wednesday and set-up a quarterfinals date with Fabio Fognini, who won over Lleyton Hewitt 6-0, 6-2.
Nadal and Fognini have only crossed paths twice in their careers, and in both times, the Spaniard won. Both games were played on clay in 2013; in the Round of 32 at the French Open (7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4) and another Round of 32 meeting at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Rome, Italy (6-1, 6-3).
Before the China Open began, Djokovic had a slight advantage over the Nadal, 11,120 points to 10,860 points or a 260-point difference. The champion gets 500 points while the runner-up gets 300 points in this tournament.
In other Round of 16 matches, Richard Gasquet beat Bernard Tomic, 7-6 (2), 6-4 and David Ferrer defeated Marinko Matosevic, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. Gasquet and Ferrer will meet in the quarterfinals.
2013 China Open - Quarterfinals Live Streaming and Schedule (Other links added once available)
Oct 4, 2013 (Friday) Matches (*Australian Eastern Standard Time)
2:30 p.m. F. Fognini vs. R. Nadal
5:00 p.m. J Isner vs. T. Berdych
6:30 p.m. D. Ferrer vs. R. Gasquet
9:30 p.m. N. Djokovic vs. S. Querrey
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