Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov to clash in China Open tennis final
Briton overcome David Ferrer in straight sets while Bulgarian receives walkover from injured Milos Raonic
Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov eased into the final of the China Open on Saturday – one of them without playing.
Top-seeded Murray beat fifth-seeded David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3 to reach his ninth final of the season, while Dimitrov advanced with a walkover against third-seeded Milos Raonic, of Canada.
Murray lost his serve to go 2-1 down before winning five straight games to take the opening set. He has yet to drop a set this week.
Murray, who took over the No 1 seeding when Novak Djokovic withdrew, is at the China Open for the third time, and has improved each time: He reached the quarter-finals on debut, and the semi-finals in 2014.
Dimitrov had a walkover against Raonic, who injured his ankle during his quarter-final victory against Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday.
Murray leads Dimitrov 7-3 in head-to-head meetings.
The big-serving Raonic was forced to play twice on Friday, beating Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri and Pablo Carreno Busta to advance to the last four and he sustained the injury during the win over the Spaniard.
“Yesterday during my second match in the evening, I rolled over my ankle, obviously caused it some level of a sprain,” the Canadian said.
“I did a test this morning, which showed I had a partial tear on the outside of my ankle. I was told to give it a try. I tried to warm up just before the match like I would normally, and I was unable to play.”
Murray, through to the China Open final for the first time, has enjoyed one of the best years of his career, winning Wimbledon and the Olympic gold medal.
World number one Novak Djokovic pulled out of the tournament because of injury
On the women’s side, Johanna Konta assured herself of a place in the next WTA top-10 rankings – the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984 – after defeating Madison Keys in three sets.
The 11th-seeded Konta beat eighth-seeded Keys 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4 with the American winning only 37 per cent of points on her second service.
Ranked 14th, Konta faces Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. The third-seeded Pole beat 16th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Associated Press, Reuters