New Delhi: Former world number one Rafael Nadal crashed out of China Open after losing to Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals on Friday at Beijing.
Nadal, who survived a tough second set against France`s Adrian Mannarino in yesterday's quarters, started in worst possible way against the Bulgarian, losing all his first four service games.
He managed to break Dimitrov's first two serves in response, but the 14-time Grand Slam singles champion was far off from his best. He lost the first set 2-6, in 43 minutes.
The second lasted little longer, of all 51 minutes, with the 20th-ranked Dimitrov winning 6-4 after Nadal lost the first service game, just like the start of the previous set.
In their previous seven meetings, Nadal had never lost to Dimitrov. Today's defeat also puts the 30-year-old Spaniard's chances of featuring in the 11th consecutive ATP Finals in doubt.
Dimitrov will play third seed Milos Raonic in the second semi-final. The towering Canadian Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in their quarters.
Meanwhile, world number 2 Andy Murray defeated his Great Britain Davis Cup team-mate Kyle Edmund to keep his hopes of dethroning Novak Djokovic for year-end number one alive.
The Scot will play Spanish old war horse David Ferrer in their semi-final match. Ferrer came from behind to beat rising German star Alexander Zverev in three sets 6(4)-7, 6-1, 7-5.
Defending champion and world number one Djokovic pulled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury.