Beijing: 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.
Murray leads Dimitrov 7-3 in head-to-head meetings.
Meanwhile Raonic pulled out of his semi-final match a few hours before it was due to start.
"Yesterday during my second match in the evening... I rolled over my ankle, obviously caused it some level of a sprain," Raonic told reporters.
The sixth-ranked 25-year-old has been stalked by injuries all season, costing him the chance to bag his first Grand Slam title.
He was two sets up to Murray in the Australian Open semis when he suffered a thigh injury, eventually losing in five.
The big-serving Canadian was also tipped to make a run for the crown at Flushing Meadows, but fell in the second round after again injuring himself on court.
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 (1), 4-6, 6-4 with the American winning only 37 percent 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.
Svitolina -- who upset world number one Angelique Kerber in the third round -- recovered from 3-0 in the second set but was unable to close the gap on the 2011 China Open champion.
First Published On : Oct 8, 2016 21:30 IST