China Open: Rafael Nadal battles past Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach quarter-finals
Rafael Nadal booked his spot in the China Open quarter-finals with a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Last Updated: 02/10/13 6:56pm
The second seed did not have things all his own way, twice squandering break advantages in the opening set and being taken to a tie-break in the second.
Kohlschreiber was competitive throughout but dropped serve once too often in the opening set and could not compete in the second-set tie-break.
"Today the serve, in my opinion, helped in the important moments," Nadal told the ATP's official website.
"But it's true that his level of tennis I think was just brilliant tonight. I won because I played a great match. If not, I would not be here with a victory."
Nadal will take over from Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings if he reaches the final of the ATP 500 event.
The Spaniard will face Fabio Fognini in the last eight after the Italian claimed a crushing 6-0 6-2 victory over two-time grand slam winner Lleyton Hewitt.
Elsewhere, fourth seed Tomas Berdych progressed to the last eight without even having to break a sweat as Nikolay Davydenko's withdrawal gave him a walkover.
Berdych will face John Isner in the quarter-finals after the big-serving American prevailed 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 against Roberto Bautista-Agut.