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Nadal should pull rank on semi-final opponent Dimitrov

Ostapenko could have her work cut out against Halep

Simona Halep has stepped it up in Beijing
1 of 1

Sky Arena, 9.30am, & Mix, 2pm Saturday
BT Sport 2, 7.30am & 12.30pm Saturday

There's some cracking action in store in the semi-finals of the China Open and the card kicks off with a repeat of the French Open final between Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko.

This time the pair clash not on clay but on a hard court. While the powerful Ostapenko goes from strength to strength, it's often a question of controlling the play on hard terrain and Halep could be tough to stop.

The Romanian has an outside chance of finishing the year as world number one. She should be fresh too, having had a lean period prior to Beijing.

However, the way she has played this week, second seed Halep has to be favourite to go some way towards avenging her Roland Garros eclipse. One note of caution - the hugely impressive Ostapenko found enough to deny Garbine Muguruza in Wuhan last month and, if only for that reason, Halep, who was well backed on Friday, can't be considered a good thing.

Petra Kvitova takes on Caroline Garcia at lunchtime UK and Ireland time and the Czech is certainly playing better in Beijing than she was in Wuhan, where her game was all over the place.

In the men's semis, Rafael Nadal is 1-3 to defeat Grigor Dimitrov in the first match – the Bulgarian is playing well but the top seed should still oblige and a straight-sets punt looks viable.

Nick Kyrgios, one of two pre-tournament selections still going strong for Racing Post Sport's Joe Champion (each-way recommendation Diego Schwartzman is his other in Tokyo earlier on Saturday morning), faces Alexander Zverev for a place in the final.

Recommendation
R Nadal to win 2-0
1pt 17-20 Betway

Advised ante-post by Joe Champion
D Schwartzman
1pt each-way 28-1 bet365


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The Romanian has an outside chance of finishing the year as world number one. She should be fresh too, having had a lean period prior to Beijing
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