Beijing: World No.8 Rafael Nadal reached the final of the China Open, beating Italy's Fabio Fognini 7-5 6-3 here on Saturday.
The 14-time Grand Slam winning Spaniard broke Fognini as the Italian served to stay in the opening set at 5-6.
Rafael Nadal. Pic/ AFP
Fognini had beaten Nadal three times this year, including in the US Open third round, but the Spaniard held his nerve.
"Happy to be back in a final. Thanks all for your support," he tweeted after the match on Saturday.
"He's a great player, a great and talented player," said Nadal.
"It was a tough first set, as I expected. Tough match in general. But I think I played well. I played much closer to the baseline than the previous days. That's very important for me, very important for my game."
The position for me on the court today was more aggressive, and that's why I was able to beat him today after a couple of defeats," he added.